Chemical Bank Helps Support ‘Money Smart Youth’
A new partnership with Chemical Bank will expand the reach of 4-H youth financial literacy education.
The Money Smart Youth Financial Literacy Program, a new partnership with the Chemical Bank Foundation, provides youth with opportunities to increase their personal financial knowledge, practice money management skills and in turn apply these skills and knowledge to becoming financially smart and secure.
“At Chemical Bank, we believe in the importance of promoting financial literacy with our customers and in our communities, and the earlier people learn these skills in life, the better off they will be in the future,” said Lynn Kerber, Chemical Bank Foundation president. “The 4-H Money Smart Youth project helps youth learn a variety of skills ranging from the basics of saving to more complex skills such as investing, cash flow and understanding credit.”
4-H Money Smart Youth engages youth in financial education learning and also trains adult volunteers on how to engage youth around financial literacy learning. Additionally, Raising Money Smart Children workshops will be offered for parents and children to learn basic money management skills together.
“The exposure to financial education as youth will help young people develop financially smart habits and know how and where to seek out additional information when they are older,” said Laurie Rivetto, MSU Extension 4-H educator. “We ‘don’t know what we don’t know,’ so allowing youth to interact with financial terms, reconcile an account or developing a personal budget exposes them to skills that they will utilize throughout their lives.”
According to the 2015 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 70 percent of American adults are worried about their personal finances, and 75 percent agree that they could benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional. Sixty percent of Americans say they continue to spend without a budget. These adult behaviors are very likely a carryover from lack of financial experience as youth.
“Our hope is that youth will feel more prepared and more competent about their finances and less worried about what they are doing than research shows today’s adult is,” Rivetto said.
Chemical Bank’s support helps 4-H engage youth through camps, skill training events and ongoing 4-H educational activities designed to provide real-life experiences and practice in money management to improve youth spending and saving behaviors and risk awareness.
“The partnership with Chemical Bank allows our team to greatly expand the programming that we are doing and to have a specific focus on youth financial education. This has allowed us to develop enhanced programs such as in-depth 4-H treasurer training and money management SPIN clubs. We will be able to have a money management focus during 4-H Exploration Days 2018 through this support,” Rivetto said.
(A 4-H SPIN club is a combination of the concept of special interest groups with the 4-H club model. 4-H SPIN clubs focus on a specific topic – in this case money management – and take place within a specific length of time.)
“This partnership has also allowed us to gather substantial data by the development and implementation of follow-up evaluation processes to learn more about the impact of 4-H financial education work through our team’s direct work and through the impact of our 4-H volunteers,” Rivetto added.
Chemical Bank has been a strong supporter of Michigan 4-H since the mid-1980s, providing statewide support for 4-H and Kettunen Center as well as county 4-H support from local branches.
“In addition to providing youth with opportunities to develop skills like those presented in the Money Smart program, 4-H’s diverse programming and the learning opportunities provided in areas such as engineering, leadership development and community service are valuable skills that can help prepare youth for jobs not only in the financial industry but in a number of different areas as well,” Kerber said.
“The Michigan 4-H Foundation is an organization that is closely aligned with Chemical Bank’s ideals, and we wholeheartedly support 4-H’s focus on youth development. Chemical Bank supports organizations that improve the quality of life in communities where we live, work and play, and we believe in supporting organizations like 4-H who share the same values,” she added.