Sponsor Spotlight: Bank of the West helps kids create healthy financial habits

Janet Redwine Get Involved, International Towne, Young AmeriTowne Leave a Comment

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A student writes in a booklet for Young AmeriTowne

A Young AmeriTowne citizen records expenses in her checkbook register so that she knows how much money she can spend in Towne.

“Nearly a third of young adults in a recent study were found to be “financially precarious” because they had poor financial literacy and lacked money management skills and income stability.” – ScienceDaily, citing a study by researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The individuals in this study will likely face a lifetime of financial hardship.  The results of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study, which surveyed 18 to 24-year-olds, found that 32 percent “lacked access to mainstream financial institutions, they were frequent users of alternative financial services, which tend to charge high interest rates and fees.”

Reading statistics like this underscores the importance of early, effective financial education.  Fortunately, in Colorado, there are opportunities for children to receive this type of education before they become young adults. Young Americans Center for Financial Education’s programs deliver hands-on lessons like Young AmeriTowne and International Towne that allow elementary and middle school students to experience, not just learn about basic financial topics.

Community partners like Bank of the West ensure students from all types of backgrounds can participate in Young AmeriTowne and International Towne programs.  In 2018, support from Bank of the West provided Send-a-School scholarships for 254 low-income students.  These scholarships provided teacher training, curriculum, materials (including a checkbook and debit card), and a day in Towne experience that students remember for a lifetime.

Educating young people about finance is important.  When they learn basic financial concepts at a young age—why saving is important, how to build a budget, the difference between wants and needs—kids have the opportunity to practice those skills for years before they become adults.  Thank you, Bank of the West, for making this opportunity possible!

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