Decatur Students Complete Financial Course

Decatur Students Complete Financial Course

BERLIN – Stephen Decatur High School students are adding a financial facet to their education thanks to a program offered through the Bank of Ocean City.

Three dozen Stephen Decatur High School students were recognized last week for their completion of the EverFi Financial Literacy program. This is the fourth year the Bank of Ocean City has sponsored the program at Stephen Decatur.

Principal Tom Zimmer commended the students for their hard work and encouraged them to begin using the financial tips they learned now, as teenagers.

“It will only benefit you,” he said.

The 36 students who completed this year’s program came from teacher Kurt Marx’s economics and finance classes. He provided them with time to complete the six- to eight-hour online course, which covered topics from the college financial aid application to fraud. Students learned ways to finance a higher education, how to invest and the meaning of a credit score.

Marx said it was more important than ever for students to know how to manage money. The practice of working for 40 years and retiring with a pension is no longer something the average person can count on, he said.

“It’s critical kids learn,” Marx said. “They’re going to have to deal with money. The sooner they learn it the better.”

Jenny Nakamura, a schools manager with EverFi, said the online program was used by teachers throughout the country. It’s broken into modules so teachers can have their students complete a particular lesson when it coincides with what they’re learning in class.

“Teachers use the program as a supplemental resource,” she said.

Earl Conley, assistant vice president of the Bank of Ocean City, said the EverFi program provided students with the tools they needed to begin understanding finance and managing money. Before awarding the students their certificates of completion Friday, he took the opportunity to warn them about the dangers of debt.

“Debt can be your friend and debt can be your detriment,” he said.

While having a credit card and paying it off can help a person build a credit history, Conley cautioned the students about going overboard.

“Be careful,” he said. “You can run up your credit card debt very easily. It creeps up on you.”

Students said they found the EverFi lessons regarding financing college and identity theft particularly interesting.

Student Delilah Purnell said the program brought the students insight on a variety of topics.

“And the test made you retain info,” she said.