Everitt Middle School is partnering with Young Americans Bank to give 7th and 8th grade students real-world experience in bank credit. This past month in Mr. Lay’s Honors Algebra 1 class, 27 students each applied for a $100 loan.
To qualify for a loan, students first presented to Bank Vice President Tijuan Harvey. Each student explained how he/she would use the loan to make microloans through Kiva.org. According to the Kiva website, the mission of this San Francisco-based nonprofit is to to expand access to capital and alleviate poverty. Since the organization boasts a 96.9% repayment rate, the students argued that funding microloans through this cause was a great opportunity to make a global impact while learning about interest and lending.
Based on the strength of the presentation, each application was approved. As the mission of Young Americans Bank is to provide hands-on experience in banking and finance to young people, the project is a perfect fit. “We’ve never done anything like this before,” said Tijuan, “but I can’t think of a better way for kids to learn about credit and interest than by taking out a real loan from a real bank.”
Throughout the process, the students are learning about loan applications, the underwriting and approval process, loan disbursals and repayment schedules. The students’ first payments are due January 5, with final payments due later in the spring. The culminating event will be a presentation by each of the students about their lending project. Mr. Lay hopes to invite local community members and bankers to the final event.