UPDATE: Branch Banking & Trust Inc. (BB&T) has committed $5,000 to this program! In a letter to Principal Charcia Nichols, BB&T Director of Community Development Sharon Jeffries-Jones wrote, “Your commitment to preparing young adults in careers in finance and banking is a perfect fit with BB&T’s corporate mission and making our communities better places to work and live.” Thanks, BB&T!
Washington High’s School of Banking, Finance and Investment (BFI) has partnered with Capitol City Bank to create a student-run bank to help students learn more about how money moves in, around and out of a financial institution. Freshmen in the school studied the mechanics and functions of the bank on Thursday afternoon with business education teacher Ramona Anderson and Capitol City Bank representatives Elese Simmons and Vanessa M. Brittain. Simmons, a bank officer, took students through the basic routines of setting up an online account and filling out deposit and other transaction forms for what will be a real-life savings account.
Freshman Kourtney Mosley was elected president and CEO of the bank, and is excited to get started. (See video above. The sign is for the Washingtonian, a previous bank venture at the school.) Mosley was the valedictorian of Turner Middle School, carries a 4.0 grade-point average in her classes, is a member of JROTC and PEARLS – Pursuing Excellence and Academics Reaching Leadership through Sisterhood. Yet she’s still not sure where she wants to take her skills.
“I really hope this will help influence my decision on what I want to be in life,” said Mosley, who like her classmates will start with a $10 deposit. “This experience will help me do that, as well as simply learn how a bank runs.”
BFI Principal Dr. Charcia Nichols appreciates the hands-on potential of the exercise, which will help students start to save now for future school expenses like the junior fees that help pay for the senior prom. “The over-arching goal is to make sure our students are financially aware,” said Nichols. “We want to teach them about the importance of savings, but also related skills, like communicating, financial literacy, handling the phone correctly. It’s all part of the personalization piece with the small schools model. We have an opportunity to start a school-based enterprise where they can develop critical-thinking skills. This is what makes our school different. The kids want to come to school because they have a business to run, and they’re getting graded for it.”