Editor’s note: The following story is sponsored by CommunityAmerica Credit Union, a partner of STARTLAND, the parent organization of Startland News. Click here to learn about CommunityAmerica’s coming financial literacy webinar series for parents. This story was produced independently by Startland News.
A spring corporate innovation internship program — designed as an outlet and opportunity for students sidelined by COVID-19 — exposed critical gaps in financial literacy among Kansas City teens and young adults, said Anita Newton.
“Money mistakes in high school or college can have a profound impact on an adult’s life down the road,” said Newton, chief innovation officer for CommunityAmerica Credit Union, which created the first-of-its-kind virtual internship effort. “Debt, credit problems, lack of savings — are all issues that can become serious, starting with decisions now.”
Click here to learn more about the internship program, which culminated in May with a student pitch competition that awarded $26,000 to participants.
Organizers of the two-month program spent hours listening to students talk about their challenges with money, she added.
“We asked 357 high school and college interns: ‘What do you wish your parents had taught you about money?’” Newton said. “Many of the answers surprised us.”
The interns — a cross-section of every race, gender and socio-economic status, Newton said — inspired CommunityAmerica to plan a follow-up webinar for parents on how to set up students for success, she added.
Click here to register for the one-hour virtual event, noon Tuesday, June 30. Parents, educators and civic leaders are especially welcome to attend the webinar, which is the first in a series of virtual life skills events for parents.
“This event is being driven by students,” Newton said, noting expert panelists will still play an important role. “Most sessions like this are taught by other adults — this is different in that it is being driven by the group we are trying to impact.”
Based on the findings of CommunityAmerica’s proprietary study — quantitative and qualitative research conducted with the help of students aged 13 to 23 from across 100 area schools — the information is set to be shared with the public for the first time June 30.
Participants will choose from three learning topics from the below list:
- No. 1 emotion students associate with money;
- College students share their biggest mistake and regret in high school;
- Areas where students have the largest knowledge gaps;
- Three things students wish parents would have taught them, but never did; and
- How to speak to your student about money.