Bankers volunteer to teach Alaska kids the path to financial success
The state of Alaska is one of five states in the nation that does not require personal finance education in state standards, according to the Council for Economic Education. The other states include California, Wyoming, Montana and New Mexico as well as the District of Columbia.
For the 10th-straight year, bankers from Wells Fargo in midtown Anchorage along with volunteers from Junior Achievement spent the day at North Star Elementary to educate more than 400 students on how to save and manage their money wisely.
"When children are exposed to money management early, it can set the stage for healthy financial futures," said Greg Deal, Wells Fargo Alaska Region bank president. "This knowledge will hopefully build and grow with them through the different stages of their lives and set them on a path to success."
Thirteen volunteers worked their way through 15 classrooms teaching the students the difference between credit and a debit cards as well as the importance of having a job and working as a team.
"If you're an adult, you can't just go asking your parents, 'Can you buy me a car?,'" North Star Elementary second-grader Abdoulie Touray said. "You have to get a job and work and save your money."
While the volunteers visit kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms at North Star Elementary, Josh Vandagriff, a Wells Fargo business banking relationship manager, says in his experience the light bulb really starts to turn at a specific age.
"In second and third grade, what happens is what I like to call a spark," Vandagriff said. "When you start talking to them about, 'Oh, this is how you can make a payment. You can make electronic payments.' A spark goes off."
Vandagriff said Wells Fargo recommends its team members volunteer in the communities they live and work in. The bank's staff across Alaska volunteer with Junior Achievement.
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