Students learn financial literacy

The Yolo Federal Credit Union is teaching a series of financial literacy classes at Davis High.

By Annabelle Zhou, Editor–

Opportunities abound for expanding knowledge beyond daily classes, beginning right on campus in the Career Center. A financial literacy class was offered on Jan. 20 during lunch time in the Career Center, taught by Yolo Federal Credit Union training manager James Richie.

“Yolo FCU works with schools all across Yolo County to provide these free educational workshops on all types of money-related topics,” Richie said. “We were fortunate to partner with the DHS PTA in offering this almost year-long series to [Davis High] students so they are best prepared to manage their finances now and after they graduate.”

The class was the second of a series of classes presented by the Yolo Federal Credit Union and the DHS PTA, the first having been in December about the importance of having a budget and how to develop one.

This month Richie spoke to a room full of around 15 to 20 students munching on pizza while they absorbed his information about identity theft and debit/credit card fraud.

Sophomore Maddy Lemmo attended the class with friends expecting important information and walked away with just that.

“I learned that you always need to be careful who you share your personal information with something as small as your birthday can be used against you,” Lemmo said, “The class was definitely helpful. [It] made me realize that I need to be more careful about what I put on social media and who I talk to. Being open is not always a good thing.”

Lemmo gleaned just what Richie hoped students would gain from this class.

“The number one thing I hoped students took away was to be careful what and with whom they share their information online. Digital fraud is increasingly difficult to track, and with information on social media, a determined criminal can take advantage of your financial accounts and credit very quickly,” Richie said.

Junior Ana Wong will also now be more aware and cautious after learning about how common identity theft is.

“What appealed to me was the idea of learning things that school couldn’t teach me,” Wong said.

Yolo FCU chose to offer these extracurricular classes to high school students to ensure the smoothest transition into adulthood.

“You probably have a debit card and a credit union account, and soon you could have access to a low-limit credit card to begin building credit, and with these tools comes the risk of fraud. However, we know that with the prevalence of social media, criminals can and do take advantage of teens who carelessly post too much personal information, and that puts teens at a higher risk of identity theft,” Richie said.

But Yolo FCU hasn’t forgotten about Davis’ other students; it also offers a school savings program in Yolo County elementary schools to set them on the path towards lifelong financial wellness.

“The best application of what we discuss is to be aware of all of the risks involved in everything you do with your money. Understanding that the best time to start saving was yesterday, and that the best frequency to save is as often as possible is the best way to make sure you can live the future you want. Being able to delay gratification will allow you to do more with your money. In the end, none of us want to have to worry about our finances, but achieving that means learning good habits early so they become second nature,” Richie said.

Learn more about how to be financially literate by signing up for the next classes in this series.

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