A Program You Can Bank On

 Ashley Okwuazi, 18, used to spend money at the drop of a dime but she later learned the value of a dollar. It was a lesson she learned in the cafeteria, of all places.

“My first job was at a local grocery store. We would get a check every week and I would get so excited and spend that check,” the high school senior said. 

Ashley learned her money lesson when Northeast Family Federal Credit Union teamed up with her school, Manchester High, and opened up a branch in the lunchroom as part of a business class.

Students work alongside a credit union employee and do everything a teller does, just as they would at the main office. The goal is to help teach teens how to manage their money.
“They start with a savings account. They get to learn all about money, what their money can do, how much, how quickly their own savings can add, can increase by simple interest,” Fred Brown, of Northeast Family Federal Credit Union, said.
“This program really shows you how using money really affects your future and how you have to plan for the future and how you have to save what you can. You don’t want to just go out and spend it in one shot,” Alyssa Merrill, a junior, said.
Students and teachers have accounts. Students can withdraw up to $50 a day, teachers can withdraw up to $100.

The program is proof that no matter how many accounting or math courses you take in a classroom, you can only learn so much from a book.
“You read it, you forget it. But when you do it, you maintain it forever and you remember it,” said Beth Hayes, who chairs the school’s business and finance department.
For Ashley, it has been life changing.

“It's a wonderful experience. I am glad we're able to shine and everyone can see what we're doing here because it's phenomenal,” she said.

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