Young Americans Blog

Tales from the Towne: Personal Testimony from our Director of Young AmeriTowne

By: Debbie Schaller Published: December 22nd, 2015

It is easy to come to work each day when you believe in the mission of the company that you are working for, and understand the difference that you are making in the lives of young people.

Young Americans Center offers many programs and activities that help teach and solidify real life concepts to kids of all ages. Being the director of Young AmeriTowne, I get to experience firsthand each day the difference that our program makes.  From the awestruck faces of 4th and 5th graders as they walk in the doors of Young AmeriTowne for the first time, to the pride that they feel when they have balanced their checkbook register after making a purchase in the Snack Shop, Young AmeriTowne is truly a unique place.

The mission of our program is to provide an opportunity for students to take concepts that they have learned in the classroom and apply them in a hands-on, experiential learning environment. Over the years, I have witnessed many moments where a student has experienced a “light bulb” moment. One such experience occurred not too long ago, when I was approached by a student who had forgotten to record a transaction in their register. After careful calculation, they realized that they were going to be overdrawn by $1.  This student had one AmeriTowne dollar, and wanted to know if they could make a deposit into their account so that their checking account balance would be brought back up to zero. Another recent experience involved a student who, after balancing their checkbook register, realized that they were overdrawn, and asked to return an item and have their debit card refunded so that they would no longer be overdrawn.

These are two simple stories of many in which students demonstrate their knowledge of personal finance in real and meaningful ways. These concepts learned will help guide them into adulthood, allowing them make wise financial decisions, thus helping them avoid many common mistakes made by some adults today.

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