Decatur Students Participate In Financial Literacy Program

Decatur Students Participate In Financial Literacy Program

BERLIN — A bumper crop of fiscally responsible students emerged from Stephen Decatur this week with certifications after completing a rigorous financial literacy course at the Berlin high school.
Around 33 Stephen Decatur High School students received their official certifications on Tuesday after completing the financial literacy program provided by EverFi Inc. and sponsored by the Bank of Ocean City. The newly certified Decatur students completed EverFi’s web-based, e-learning program as part of a statewide initiative to teach financial literacy.
The EverFi program uses the latest in new media technologies including adaptive pathing, 3D gaming, social networking, online animations, video and messaging tools to bring complex financial concepts to life. Through the EverFi program, the students became certified in over 600 topics in financial education and became better financially informed citizens. The Bank of Ocean City contracted with EverFi to bring the interactive financial management program to the Decatur students at no cost to the school.
“Teaching fiscal responsibility to young adults has always been part of the bank’s community involvement,” said Bank of Ocean City President and CEO Wayne Benson. “Educating our youth to make intelligent financial decisions on their own sets a solid foundation on which they can build over their lifetime.”
The 10-unit course offers six hours of programming aimed at teaching, assessing and certifying students in a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401Ks and other critical concepts. The system uniquely tracks the progress and score of every student and provides those who successfully complete the course with a certification in financial literacy, a powerful tool on college applications, resumes and more.
Bank of Ocean City Assistant Vice President Earl Conley II was on hand to give out the certifications to students on Tuesday and offered several tidbits of worthwhile advice to those who just complete the course.
“Budgeting is so important,” he said. “You have to learn to separate your wants from your needs.”
Conley also advised the students to avoid the obvious traps many recent high school graduates and college-bound students fall into.
“Debt isn’t a word you want to get comfortable with,” he said. “As you get ready for college, you’re going to get inundated with credit card offers, but you have to be very careful with that.”
For their part, the students receiving certifications on Tuesday said the course prepared them for a lifetime of fiscal responsibility.
“I’m confident I’ll be successful in the future with the things I’ve learned in the EverFi program,” said student Kyle Nichols.
Decatur teacher Kurt Marx implemented the program this year with the help of EverFi and the Bank of Ocean City. Decatur Principal Tom Zimmer thanked Marx and said he was pleased after earlier attempts at installing a financial literacy programs at Decatur stalled.
“I tried to get this going last year,” he said. “I tried and tried to get teachers involved with EverFi, but it never took off. This year, Mr. Marx took the reins and he is the man behind this successful program.”
In addition to sponsoring the EverFi program, the Bank of Ocean City institutes and participates in numerous financial literacy programs throughout the year. Bank officials visit schools throughout the year participating in programs such as Teach Children to Save Day and Junior Achievement. The Bank of Ocean City also participates in an Elderly Financial Abuse program in conjunction with local law enforcement helping senior citizens avoid being taken advantage of.