Tec Voc students get money sense by running their own bank

Students at Winnipeg's Technical Vocational High School are learning financial literacy through the hands-on approach of running their own credit union.

'It's all about getting good habits and following through on them,' says teacher

Jamie Walters is in Grade 11 and is one of the customer service representatives at Tec Voc's student-run credit union. (CBC)

Students at Winnipeg's Technical Vocational High School are learning financial literacy through the hands-on approach of running their own credit union. 

"We surveyed our grade nine students and many of them didn't have bank accounts. When we started making more inquiries about why, they said, 'we'll never have a reason to save money, I'll never have money' and we needed to change that attitude in a hurry," said Greg Link, the school's business education department head. 

The Tec Voc credit union was created in partnership with the Assiniboine Credit Union and is run entirely by the high school students during their lunch hours when they process deposits, withdrawals and transfers. They're hoping to be able to expand in the future to offer small loans to students. 
The students working at the credit union find they are being approached by their comrades for financial advice. (iStock)

"Everything is expensive. So when you start saving when you're my age instead of when you're out of high school and you have to support yourself. At least you have some money then to fall back on if you need it," said Jamie Walters, a Grade 11 student and customer service representative at the credit union. 

She said it's helped her to start saving for university.

Walters is now recognized around the school as one of the students that works in the credit union and now students will approach her with questions or financial advice.

The credit union has been open for six months and already has more than 100 student customers.

The business department has also offered some educational classes for students and is looking to expand to offer more advanced classes for their parents on things like Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs).

"It's all about getting good habits and following through on them," he said. 


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