When I was 5 years old I got a savings account at the Young Americans Bank. I was unhappy with giving up my hard earned money to a stranger, but as the teller explained how safe my money would be, it was easier to part with. It’s now been about 10 years since I started a savings account at the bank, and I just got my first job working at Young Americans Center.
Last year I was on the Youth Advisory Board for the Center and through that experience I was offered a job working with one of the summer camps out at the Bank branch. I had already been looking for a part-time summer job as I exited my sophomore year in high school, and the prospects weren’t great. I didn’t want to work in retail or the food industry, and I was too young to get a job as a camp counselor at a sleepover summer camp. When I heard about the opportunity to work at Young Americans, I applied immediately. I already loved the organization, and its message, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of it all.
I help teach our one-day classes, so the schedule is usually a day at the office then a day at the class. Office days are filled with excel spreadsheets and phone calls, to verify attendance and update registration, but the camp days take “busy” to a whole new level. I previously had some experience with kids through babysitting, but I wasn’t prepared for how much energy it would take to teach and entertain kids for seven hours.
In our one day classes we teach the kids about personal finance, such as creating and maintaining a budget. We talk to them about savings goals and how they are different from goals in general. For the older kids, we talk about running your own business and the perks of being an entrepreneur, for that particular class we encourage kids to come up with their own business plan so they leave the class with a well thought out business. I thought it would be hard for the kids to understand the concept of budgeting and saving but they catch on easily.
I’m constantly learning. Kids are so energetic and insightful, but they can be crazy too. It’s a constant struggle to keep their attention long enough to get my point across, but it’s an amazing learning experience. Originally when I was looking for a summer job I was just hoping to build my resume for college, but this type of work isn’t just that. I love coming to work each day, whether I’m in the office, or I’m teaching a class, because it’s never boring.
I’m so happy I get the opportunity to work here and be a part of this amazing organization.