Financial Education Center hopes to teach high school students’ financial literacy

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 10:35 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 8:48 AM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - A partnership between Citizens Bank and Southside Charter High School is bringing the banking experience to the halls of Southside Charter High School.

Students can make real banking transactions in the comfort of their own school. says that 75 percent of teenagers lack confidence in their personal finance knowledge.

“When you get into the real world, you don’t want to be deer in the headlights,” said Rhanda Fields, student banker with Citizens.

A group of student bankers have been preparing by taking banking and finance classes to prepare for the Financial Educational Center.

“They can deposit into their accounts, they can make withdrawals, they can make loan payments, cash checks,” she said.

Nearly ten students could open an account at the school on Tuesday’s ribbon cutting, but the student bankers won’t be able to open accounts there.

They will be able to make different banking transactions if they are Citizens Bank customers.

Annuity also said 73 percent of students also report wanting more personal finance education.

Fields said the student bankers will also be able to teach students other aspects of banking, like fraud, credit scores, and writing checks, something they may be afraid to ask an adult.

“They just might be more comfortable chatting with a friend about it or someone that they know about it,” she said.

The Southside Financial Educational Center is the first in the state, and business teacher Natalie Humphrey said other schools should follow it.

“We can teach them younger, it goes through the families, and it can just grow from there and this is generational,” she said.

The student bankers at Southside Charter High School have taken banking courses to prepare them for this day, and they said they’re ready to make a difference.

“Having this bank is going to be easier in a way to educate other students,” Fields said.

The bank will operate Monday to Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.