High schoolers learn money management

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This fall, the Virginia Board of Education has decided that high school students, starting with the class of 2014, will have to a class in how to manage money, credit cards, and debt. Two local companies, Union Bank and Genworth, have teamed up to bring an interactive program into local schools to help students meet that requirement.

These students are learning something they often don't learn in school. How to manage their money.

Said Huguenot High School junior Janickal Hanson, "I've learned about different types of savings accounts, how to budget my money, the risk of stocks and bonds, investing my money long term, short term, different options I have."

Added fellow junior Joseph Jeffers, "Credit, bank accounts, retirement plans, IRA, 401K and your 403."

Their class at Huguenot High School is one of hundreds across the state using a new web-based program called "My Money, My Future" from a D.C. company called EverFi. The program engages kids like a video game. There's even an avatar where they make a character's financial decisions.

Explains EverFi's Vice President of Business Development Ryan Swift, "They click around the environment, they meet a narrator who's going to guide them through that module and they complete a series of tasks, usually an animation will include that."

This fall, the Board of Education will start requiring high school students to take financial literacy. Said Swift, "We've mapped our curriculum so that it meets all the standards."

The Genworth Foundation and Union First Market Bank donated the funds to put the program into schools. Said Union Bank President Dave Fairchild, "Kids that get out of school, they're bombarded by opportunities to buy, to increase debt. Some of them have never had an opportunity to understand what that means."

Said Heidi Crapol, Vice President of Community Relations for Genworth Financial, "Now's the time to really give kids the fundamentals of making good choices, rent or buy their first home, go to college and undertake a loan."

The Genworth Foundation is sponsoring the program in 300 schools across the state. Union First Market Bank is sponsoring 70 schools. EverFi hopes to bring the program into even more schools as students are required to learn financial literacy.

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