By ARDEN BASTIA May 17 was officially Financial Literacy Day in Warwick, per a proclamation issued by Mayor Frank Picozzi Tuesday during a celebratory event at Toll Gate High School. During the month of May, 80 students from Toll Gate have been
May 17 was officially Financial Literacy Day in Warwick, per a proclamation issued by Mayor Frank Picozzi Tuesday during a celebratory event at Toll Gate High School. During the month of May, 80 students from Toll Gate have been participating in a Virtual Financial Literary Fair, sponsored by Wave Credit Union, where they make real-life decisions to help prepare them as adults for a secure financial future. This is the 10th year Wave Credit Union has been sponsoring the fair.
Also attending the event was incoming School Superintendent Lynn Dambruch, Assistant Superintendent William McCaffrey, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Toll Gate Principal Candace Calouri, Guidance Department Chair Regina Wilkinson, business department teacher Bryan Cooper, President and CEO of Wave Credit Union Paul Archambault, and Executive Vice President and COO of Wave Credit Union Dave Dupere.
“The virtual event worked out well,” said Archambault during the event. “We were able to reach out to more students.
He shared success stories of former Toll Gate students that completed the financial literacy course and continued on to careers with Wave Credit Union.
“80 percent of high schoolers have no financial education,” said Cooper. “Our students are much better prepared. Throughout your life, you’re going to handle money.”
Cooper has been working with Wave Credit Union to teach students about different banking accounts, taxes, savings, budgets, career choices, and the consequences of poor money management. Students get hands-on experience budgeting for mock phone bills, rent, and groceries. Cooper says investing is next week’s topic.
“Every student should have financial education. When you’re better prepared, you’ll make better choices,” he said. Representatives from Wave Credit Union joined Cooper’s classes, virtually, to complement and reinforce class material.
“It’s important to instill this confidence in students,” said Cooper, who shared stories of former students returning to thank him for his classes. “I’ve had students come back and say ‘That was the most helpful class I’ve ever taken.’ And it’s really heartwarming.”
During the event, Toll Gate senior Hope Flaherty was presented with a $1,000 scholarship from the Donald Staley Memorial Fund to support her studies in international business at UCLA.
Flaherty says she’s “excited” for her next chapter and for the scholarship to help get her there. Shelley, Hope’s mom, said the scholarship is “helpful” as “every cent counts.”
“Toll Gate is a leader in financial education,” said Treasurer Magaziner. “The research shows that when students have access to financial education in high school, it leads to better results later in life. This is a tangible education that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students.”
Magaziner also announced that a bill to “ensure that every high school student in Rhode Island receives personal finance education” was making its way through the General Assembly. “Students will learn how to budget, save, and invest, because every student deserves what these students here at Toll Gate are getting,” he said.
According to Magaziner, the bill has passed both the House and Senate. He is hopeful it will be signed into law “in the next few weeks.”