This summer, SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being provided free financial education to teens and young adults in more than 15 summer youth programs and summer camps across 10 counties in New York State. The youth employment programs provide teens and young adults an opportunity to gain on-the-job training where they are paid to work approximately 20 hours each week. The Institute inspired attendees to save money, increase their awareness and understanding of personal financial tools (e.g., debit cards, savings accounts), learn more about payroll withholding and Social Security, and plan for future goals.
SEFCU’s financial education program is founded on practicing positive financial habits and building confidence and self-efficacy. They incorporate critical thinking, decision- making, technology, research skills and simulate life experiences to help youth connect with the future impact of daily financial decisions.
Through the partnership with the city of Albany, 75 youth participated in approximately 14 hours of financial education displaying a 17% increase in financial confidence. In addition, Schenectady County’s group of 143 youth completed both pre-and post-assessments indicating a 16% positive change in financial confidence after completing the program.
Promoting financial education to children is critical. Research demonstrates that providing financial education early in life is directly related to saving later in life. Through a partnership with Metropolitan Baptist Church, 183 children and youth (ages 4 – 13) participated in financial education sessions. All were highly engaged as they acquired skills in establishing savings goals, understanding the money cycle, and forming positive habits for spending money. Collectively, the children and youth demonstrated a 30% increase in their financial confidence.
“The SEFCU financial education our campers enjoyed highlighted the many ways money can be utilized for success. The financial well-being courses also reinforced smart financial decision-making that would be both beneficial for their short- and long-term life success. These classes are one of the major reasons we LOVE partnering with SEFCU,” said Michael-Aaron Poindexter, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Minister of Community Life and Outreach.
Jefferson Elementary School’s summer camp students were introduced to SEFCU’s challenge-based iPad® learning lab, Change Your World and Create Your World, a unique, first-of-its-kind program designed to introduce basic financial concepts and decision-making using iPads and robots to children in third and fourth grade. Youth applied the financial concepts (needs, wants, goals, saving, budgeting, spending and sharing) and shared their new knowledge around making financial decisions with a limited budget. The youth assessments indicated a 23% positive change in attitude.
This summer, 778 youth enrolled in employment-focused programs attended financial education events provided by SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being. An overall 16% change in confidence was noted for all students in attendance.
In addition to the ongoing commitment with Schenectady County Summer Job Training, the City of Albany, and Broome-Tioga BOCES Summer Youth Employment programs, SEFCU Institute educators reached youth participating in Albany’s Police Athletic League, Girls Inc., United Way of Binghamton Fresh Cycles, Buffalo Preparatory, Erie Community College, Jefferson Elementary School and the Town of Halfmoon Recreation Department summer camp.
SEFCU’s investment in its Institute for Financial Well-Being is key to removing barriers to accessing financial education for members, Member Groups and community organizations, and especially for youth in the regions of Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, and Buffalo.
SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being is a unique educational initiative that features an innovative approach to providing free financial education to community organizations and individuals. The Institute for Financial Well-Being is intended to guide and encourage participants to focus on achieving personal economic stability and financial independence through a series of free workshops that aims to have a lasting impact on the community. SEFCU products and services are not discussed in these seminars. The Institute is the recipient of both the national and statewide 2018 Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award (more than $1 billion asset category).