An investment in education

CG-Belgium students learn practical finance skills

STUDENTS IN PERSONAL FINANCE class at Cedar Grove-Belgium High School received certificates after completing the EverFie financial literacy program sponsored by Port Washington State Bank. Students showing their certificates included (above photo from left) Alyssa Mentink, Cheyenne Simonet and Abby Te Stroete. Chris Daniels (below) received his certificate and handshakes from vice president of the Belgium branch of Port Washington State Bank Annie Noster and customer service representative Chanel Schmidt. Photos by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

At least a few Cedar Grove-Belgium High School students in personal finance class knew a little bit about investing and money management at the beginning of the semester.

After going through a financial literacy program from an educational software company called EverFi, they know much more.

Nine modules covered topics such as savings, investing, banking, credit and insurance.

The amount of interest involved in investing stood out for Peyton Hudgins.

“You always hear people talk about it. I never realized how much it actually is if you just let it sit there,” she said.

Nick Alva already has some experience in personal finance with a car loan and checking account. His mother told him to save some of the money he was to receive for graduating and he now knows more about investing.

“I have an idea on where to (invest),” he said.

While he found some of the topics a little boring, Alva said they were worthwhile to learn.

“It gives me kind of an idea of what to look forward to as far as investments and loans,” he said.

Alva’s biggest eye-opener came when he found out the difference in lifetime career income between college graduates and non-college grads.

“It showed people who have a college degree make $300,000 more than the average person. I didn’t know it was that steep,” he said.

Olivia Schmidt said the experience gave her more confidence in handling finances.

“It was a lot of fun, and you got to learn a lot about what you need to know in the future,” she said.

Teacher Landa Paradise has used the online resource for three years. She has her students take a pre-test on the unit without background information and then tests them afterward until they pass.

“I don’t want to trick them or make their grade low,” she said. “My goal is to get them to know it.”

Hudgins said when she didn’t know answers to the questions, a light bulb would click as she went through the modules, which included videos and interactive games.

“I definitely think it’s a valuable thing to go through, especially when you’re going to leave high school and go to a job,” she said.

Port Washington State Bank sponsors the program and comes to the school twice per year. At the end of the semester, bank employees present certificates to students who complete the program.

Annie Noster, vice president of the bank’s Belgium branch, said the program helps clear up the perception that when people first get a credit card it “seems like free money.”

Chanel Schmidt, one of the bank’s customer service representatives, said coming into school helps students familiarize themselves with the bankers and the banking process so “they’re not intimidated to walk into the bank.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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