Golden Apple: Local Credit Union Offers Finance Classes to Brainerd Learning Center Students
In the state of Minnesota, no student is required to take any courses on finance, leaving some unable to do things like balance a checkbook or understand a credit score. Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union is hoping to break that cycle by properly informing kids of what financial education can do for their future.
Over a decade ago, two economics teachers from Brainerd High School approached Mid Minnesota to discuss what could be done for high school students graduating without any knowledge on finance. The credit union created a personal finance program, now taught at the Brainerd Learning Center, to inform students and workers on how to do things like open an account or loan, how to buy a car, and how to rent an apartment.
Since the start of this program, these classes have had a positive impact on students.
“Parents say, ‘my kid came home after that class and I got a lesson that evening.’ Every week, they look forward to Monday after school and he would give them what we went over, and they all learn something from this class,” said Brainerd Learning Center math teacher Bridget Corbett.
“They taught us about financial aid and scholarships and if I didn’t learn about that, I probably wouldn’t have been going to school because it didn’t seem like a realistic option without that,” said Gabe Kramer, a former Brainerd Learning Center student now enrolled at Central Lakes College. “I just want to thank Mid Minnesota for making the classes possible. It taught me a lot of things, not just about finance, and my mom, I taught her a lot about what I learned in the class ’cause there was things that she didn’t know, so it helped me and my family out.”
Mid Minnesota will continue educating students through the program, but they hope students are talking about these classes outside of the classroom.
“If they’re going home at the end of the day and talking to their parents about what they’re learning, that’s a win-win, and that’s great success,” said Jill Casper, Mid Minnesota VP of Community Engagement and Employee Development.
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