Returning Colbert County high school students get financial education

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – What is financial freedom? It is a question not many high school students can answer, but they are being schooled on financial management this year.

For high school students in Colbert County, they have a new community partnership – designed to help with their financial education.

“It doesn’t matter what field you go into, where you go to college, what you decide to do with your life, money affects all of us. And especially at the age the students are at now,” explained Financial Management teacher Brooklyn Godwin.

The three high schools in Colbert County have partnered with First Metro Bank. Student-run branches have been opened, allowing classmates and teachers to do their banking while at lunch.

“Whether you’re an accountant, a cashier, or whether you are anywhere, cash handling skills, how to balance ledgers, anything that would help with a business degree, an accounting degree,” student Kerigan Mardis described about the importance for a financial education.

Mardis is one of the students who will be working in the branch at Colbert County High School. She spent part of her summer learning the ins and outs of banking.

“Help them, reach out to them. If they walk into here and they seem lost, show them the process. Sit down and help them do mobile banking, online banking, and just be able to help any student that walks in here,” Mardis explained about her job.

Any student 15 or older will be able to open a savings account on their own. And in the classroom, they will learn to make smart decisions with the money they have.

The program is now in six high schools across north Alabama, and with the interest it is getting, that number will likely grow. Florence and Muscle Shoals High Schools opened the first school bank branches in October of 2015, and remain in daily operation.

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