Students run credit union at school
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. (WSVN) -- Some South Florida students are getting an in-depth education on managing their money by running a credit union inside of their school.
But this is no ordinary bank. The Swamp Credit Union, which is run by teenagers, opened at Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes on Friday, and it's giving the students some great real-life experience.
Amanda Morera, 16, is one of those participating In the credit union project. She handles the public relations for Swamp. "Well, most of the students, they don't know what a credit union is. I didn't before my interview in this experience," she said. "So we're just letting them know exactly what it is: that it's a non-profit cooperative. It's not a bank. Their focus is to benefit us. In particular, the students and the faculty."
Working in conjunction with the South Florida Federal Educational Credit Union, this idea began about a year ago. Students within the school's finance academy volunteer in the program, the first of its kind in Miami-Dade County.
Don Festge, a teacher at the school said, "Students can open an account, teachers who already have an account or who don't have an account will be able to open an account, and then on Tuesdays and Fridays, which is our days that we're open, parents will be able to come in and do banking as well."
Carlos Artime, Barbara Goleman's principal, said this will provide a great experience for students to learn about finances before entering college. "You'll be surprised how many students leave high school, the second that they get accepted into college they get notified that there's a credit card that you can apply for. They get their credit card, they start getting into debt, and by that time they learn through the school of hard knocks. Our program is to make sure that that does not happen."
Student Dariana De La Osa said she is excited to be part of the program. "We went through really hard training for two days, so it was a big deal, and I'm excited to be a part of it. I'm glad that I am, and I'm grateful for the opportunity."
(Copyright 2010 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)