Decatur Students Complete Financial Literacy Program

Decatur Students Complete Financial Literacy Program
Stephen Decatur High School students are pictured with their certificates and teacher Kurt Marx, Principal Tom Sites and Bank of Ocean City Vice President Earl Conley. Photo by Bethany Hooper

BERLIN – Students at Stephen Decatur High School were recognized last week for completing a financial literacy course.

On June 5, students received certificates for completing the EverFi Financial Literacy program, a digital education tool that teaches students how to make wise financial decisions with interactive lessons.

For nearly eight years, the Bank of Ocean City has sponsored the EverFi program as a way for students to fulfill the state’s standards on personal finance curriculum.

Students spend several hours completing online lessons designed to cover a variety of financial topics, including credit and debt, banking basics, budgeting and diversification.

Business and economics teacher Kurt Marx said 34 students completed the financial literacy program this semester. His students also completed the most EverFi classes in Decatur history this year.

“We completed 78 classes in financial literacy, investing basics, African-American history and entrepreneurship,” he said.

Principal Tom Sites commended the students for participating in the financial literacy program.

“This is a wonderful program to get you guys thinking about what your money does in the future,” he said. “I wish when I was in high school I would have taken a class like this. It really gives you a good understanding of what you can do to invest in the future.”

Bank of Ocean City Vice President Earl Conley said the EverFi program teaches students how to manage their money.

“The little things you do when you are 18, 19 years old will stick with you for years,” he said. “You should take care of your finances and prepare for the future.”

Conley also outlined the importance of credit scores and investing.

“In the old days, we had guaranteed pensions. Every job had a retirement plan. Not anymore. It will now be up to you,” he said. “You aren’t going to make a lot of money by stuffing it in a bank. You are going to have to learn how to invest it. The stock market is a great way to do it.”

Eleventh-grade student Sydney Boger said the program and other EverFi courses have prepared her to make financial decisions on her own.

“Now, if I ever want to get money out of an ATM, I know there are fees attached to that,” she said. “And as I graduate soon, I know I should start investing. I should definitely invest now when I am young instead of waiting.”

Ninth-grade student Ashten Snelsire said the financial literacy course has prepared him to pursue a business-related degree in college.

“If you want to start a business or be a part of a business, it gives you so much prior knowledge that others don’t have,” he said. “And even if you don’t do anything business related, you are still learning how to be financially stable and manage your money.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.