Author: Aubrie Hoopingarner
HarborLight Credit Union has joined forces with the Muskegon Area Tech Center (MACTC) to open a student-run credit union branch. The new branch named, The Currency Corner, opened November 12, 2010. Students in the financial management/accounting program operate the credit union with the help of Sheryl Hogle, youth advisor for HarborLight Credit Union.
Hogle is on site at the Credit Union during operating times which are currently Fridays during both morning and afternoon class times. This is the third student-run branch that HarborLight Credit Union has helped to start. Both Whitehall and Montague High Schools have already tested the water with great success.
Students enrolled in the financial management/ accounting program were each given $5 by HarborLight to open their own account. The instructor of the program, Sandra Goodrich, hopes that The Currency Corner will, “offer them the opportunity to learn about managing their personal finances in a hand-on environment.” Currently only staff, students and faculty that have accounts at HarborLight Credit Union are able utilize the services offered at The Currency Corner. Services available include: deposits, withdraws, check cashing and setting up new accounts.
One of the major goals of the program is to try and get students to realize the importance of saving money. In the future Hogle hopes to offer special savings accounts that would aid students in saving for expenses such as prom, spring break trips or a car. The hands-on experience is meant to show students how important it is to keep track of spending. “Students know how to spend,” Goodrich says. The tricky part may be getting them to learn to spend responsibly. The hopes are to “help them develop good money management skills,” says Hogle.
HarborLight also spends time in the classroom with students giving advice on various other financial topics such as, identity theft, personal finance, and managing credit and debt. “The Credit Union’s philosophy is that learning responsible money management is as important as earning it,” said Hogle.
The Muskegon Area Career Tech Center offers 21 different CTE programs. Programs range from Auto Body to Restaurant and Catering and everything in-between! Enrollment is coordinated by local high school counselors. Students spend part of their school day at their home school and part at the MACTC. Advisory committees are integrated into each program and are made up of local professionals. For more information or to learn how to enroll, contact the
Muskegon Area Career Tech Center
200 Harvey St
Muskegon MI 49442