UST and US Bank Help Minneapolis STEP-UP Interns Work to Financial Independence

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By Dan Jackson, MBA ’12

U.S. Bank Financial Education Day, a collaboration between U.S. Bank and the Minneapolis STEP-UP Achieve summer internship program, works to boost these percentages for youth in Minneapolis and get them on track towards better financial management. 100 Minneapolis high school students recently filled the halls of UST's Minneapolis campus to increase their financial literacy and take charge of their personal finances.

The Teens and Personal Finance survey administered by Junior Achievement USA summarizes the current attitudes that teens have about money. Survey results show that fewer than one-in-five teens (18 percent) believe that they will be financially independent by age 20. The Junior Achievement report goes on to state that this represents a significant decrease compared to the same question asked of teens a year ago (44 percent) and only 56 percent of teens surveyed think they will be as financially well-off or better than their parents. That represents a 37 percent drop from the previous year of 89 percent.

STEP-UP provided the student audience and U.S. Bank provided the educational knowledge via current financial professionals who volunteered their time, energy and talent to participate in the day. The volunteers served as financial education instructors and provided sessions to classrooms of about 15-25 students. University of St. Thomas MBA students and alumni also volunteered their time to sit in on the classroom sessions and were able to provide first-hand tales of their own experiences with financial management.

All of the high school students that participated were part of the Minneapolis STEP-UP Achieve summer internship program, which “connects businesses with the next generation of talented and diverse workers, provides critical hands-on job skills for young people and builds a stronger Twin Cities workforce for our knowledge-based global economy.”

Current students involved in the program have internship opportunities with many well-known businesses in the Twin Cities including, U.S. Bancorp, Thrivent Financial, Target Corporation, Memorial Blood Center, Illusion Theater and more. Interns are selected through a very competitive and rigorous application process and typically work between 15-40 hours a week during the summer months of June, July and August.The students represent a variety of age ranges, from sophomores in high school up to students who just recently graduated high school.

The day began with a keynote speaker and was followed by a host of breakout sessions that focused on budgeting and financial management, basics of the credit score, basics on how to balance a checkbook and more. The overall day was a success and students had many questions during each of the sessions. They were also very appreciative with the content that was provided. To end the day, each student received a small gift bag filled with goodies intended to encourage them to continue to save money, and maintain good personal financial management habits.

What advice would you give a high school student regarding personal finance? Let us know in the comments!