FCFCU and Financial Literacy
I recently had an opportunity to speak with Tara Turner, Financial Center's Director of Financial Literacy. Tara has spent the last year working at the credit union's first student run center kiosk at the J. Everett Light Career Center next door to North Central High School. In the coming weeks, Financial Center will open two new student centers in the Indianapolis area. One will be at the Walker Career Center next to Warren Central High School, and the other will be at Arsenal Tech High School.
How did you get started working for Financial Center?
(Tara) I started as a teller back when I was in college. I worked during my breaks in school. When I graduated from college, I worked in retail management and didn't enjoy it. Thankfully, I was able to come back to the credit union.
Describe your early work at the student center.
At the beginning of the school year, I would come in to the business management classes and teach a financial literacy curriculum. We'd talk about checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, insurance, and what it takes to get on a particular financial path. We'd also set up budgeting and savings plans. Students went through this class for about eight weeks.
What types of transactions or activities do students complete most frequently?
Deposits and withdrawals mostly.
Like cashing checks and things like that?
No, because I would encourage students to deposit their checks. I'd encourage students to put the money in their account since they don't have to carry their money around, and they can always come back and withdrawal the money.
What type of feedback have you received from students and teachers?
It's become such a convenience for them that when I was not there they would always ask where I had been. They love it. I have continually received calls this summer from students with questions asking about what branches they can go to, and so I think that they feel that the center is a great benefit to them. We've developed such a great relationship with the students that they know if they call myself or the credit union, that we can resolve any problem they may have. The students have just been fantastic.
Why do you think it's important for the students to learn about financial management?
It's not something taught at home. Whenever I talk to an adult about this program they wish that when they were a senior in high school that they would have been able to go through something like this to avoid some of the mistakes they made. I think it puts the students on a path that helps them avoid trouble.
What has been the most rewarding part of your job as the Director of Financial Literacy?
The relationships I've built with the students and the trust that they have in me. I think it's given the students a different perception of financial institutions knowing that we want to help them, and we want them to succeed.