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MECU Partners with Digital Harbor High School to Foster Financial Education

MECU Credit Union and Digital Harbor High School are partnering to integrate practical “real-world” applications into the school’s financial education coursework.

From January through mid-May, a MECU levelUP Financial Wellness® coach serves as a biweekly guest speaker within the school’s curriculum-mandated financial education classes. The MECU speaker covers the same material during three back-to-back, 90-minute sections, reaching approximately 100 seniors in total.

“Personal finance has many facets, and it is important for youth to see the breadth of that early on,” MECU Financial Wellness Coach Catrice Keys said. “I have been encouraged and impressed with the students’ understanding about the concepts we’re covering.”

Presentations focus on the usual budgeting, saving, and credit fundamentals, as well as some often overlooked financial topics.

“We talk about why social security or FICA is taken out of their paychecks and where that money is going,” MECU Financial Wellness Coach Wendy Taylor explained. “During the ‘Know Your Financial Institution’ session, we introduce banking products and services, overdraft protection, online bill pay, and ways to secure their financial data.”

This innovative speaker series grew from MECU’s successful levelUP financial literacy program and the credit union’s existing relationship with Digital Harbor, including participation in the school’s resource fairs and events. MECU’s Financial Wellness team collaborates with Digital Harbor’s financial education teacher, Victoria Beasley, to incorporate useful knowledge and engaging activities into the classes.

“The presentations have helped students get a taste of adult decision making,” Beasley stated. “They are really interested because they’re either going to college, or they’re going to work, and a lot of them are working already. They ask good questions, and the presenters hear a lot of thanks.”

MECU and Digital Harbor plan to continue this series for future senior classes. Furthermore,teachers from other Baltimore City Public Schools are showing interest in replicating the speaker series at their own institutions.

“I’d really love to branch out into additional schools,” Taylor said. “These young people are our next generation of members, and we want them to be smart, educated consumers. The more they understand, the better off they’re going to be.”

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