Thursday, April 3, 2014 marked the Second Annual Youth Financial Literacy Awards Ceremony recognizing all of the students who successfully completed a 9 week course at their schools.
This year’s participating schools were East Bakersfield High and Miramonte High Schools. With a total of 42 graduates this year, Jim Williams, YFL Board Director, was excited to point out that this number was up 11 from last years’ 31 finishers, noting the improvement as a positive outlook for the future and continued growth of the program.
Anselmo Moreno, President of Youth Financial Literacy and class instructor, combined his knowledge as a credit counselor and his observations as class instructor during his speech to share his hope that these classes have “the power to prevent these kids from falling into a financial crisis.” He went on to explain that “a lot of the financial crisis on a consumer level would have been prevented if adults knew what they were doing when it came to personal finance.”
The ceremony, held at the Miramonte High School Auditorium also featured student speakers from each school who came forward to tell a little about their experience with the program. Tiffany Perez from East Bakersfield High School spoke first telling the audience about her plans to major in finance and how it was great to sit with her peers in the classes and learn about a variety of ways to manage money. “I am satisfied I dedicated my time to this outstanding program…everyone who participated had such a remarkable time.”
This year 16 scholarships were awarded. Eight deserving students from each high school earned their scholarships by writing winning essays about a theoretical scenario using the skills they learned in the class to best judge how they would handle the situation. While there were no right or wrong answers, the essays are judged by thoroughness as well as sound processing using their new skills.
This year a new budget game was introduced and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners from each class were also recognized from each school and awarded $100, $50, and $25 prizes respectively.
Mayor Harvey Hall, an official supporter of the program sent his congratulations to students even though a last minute scheduling conflict prevented him from attending the ceremony personally. In addition each student received a certificate of completion from The Honorable Mike Maggard, Supervisor.
Kathy Alammari, a senior at Miramonte High School, summed the course up by saying that “this program showed how we all start off as kids who don’t know what a savings account is and having to make a transition to adults who know how to manage money and responsibilities.” Kathy also shared that she has used what she learned to “influence others around me by teaching them how to manage their saving in a much easier way.” She says she will “take this new spending style and make good decisions with my goals in life.”