By Lila Mikos
For the past four Wednesdays, Santander Bank, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS), and Adult and Continuing Education Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV) have partnered to offer a series of classes on financial literacy and money management during the combined lunch and flex block.
The sessions were open to all interested students, and led by Santander Community Partnership Director Graham Chapman and MVRHS Chef and Culinary Teacher Kevin Crowell. Although financial literacy is currently offered as a semester-long course, this flex opportunity allowed a broader range of students to access the information.
Classes covered the basics that students will need for post-high school life, including accessing savings and checking accounts, managing credit cards, basic banking, and creating a balanced investment portfolio.
Mr. Chapman stressed the importance of students’ comprehension and implementation of these complex topics in their lives.
“Financial literacy is one of those things that, universally, every single student is going to have to be able to navigate at some point,” he said. “The earlier you can start imparting some of those financial principles, the better.”
Senior Nate Porterfield attended the last class in the series and recognized the importance of what was being taught. “It’s something that we’re going to use more than some of the things we may learn in school,” he said.
Chef Crowell emphasized the importance of teaching young students about these life processes: “If you start doing it when you’re young, and you get comfortable with the process, it’s not that tricky. Obviously, [finances] get more complicated as you get older for a lot of people, but just being exposed to it and going through the process, it just gets a little easier to understand each time.”
Before attending these classes, many students were unfamiliar with the information covered. “I wasn’t super familiar with the whole credit score thing or with credit cards. Learning about stuff like that is going to be really important for the future,” said Nate.
Mr. Chapman hopes that the main takeaway for students is that it’s okay to be confused and to ask questions. “I love when people are able to admit that they are confused, or that there is some kind of a financial component that they don’t understand,” he said. “Those people who are proactive about finding the answers about the things that they don’t know tend to do better, generally, in life.”