By Justin Seward
St. Michael’s School hosted its inaugural Financial Literacy Week earlier this month during options week.
A group of Grade 12 Students received virtual presentation over three days from RBC’s Jessica Boyd, Veronica Enair— who manages three large accounts of $250 million per through her own business and does work for Manulife, lead accountant Deborah Sumner—who leads six firms between British Columbia and California and bookkeeper Andrea Lodders.
The financial option was only offered to Grade 12s because of the COVID shutdown for elementary and junior high students.
“We focused on three main areas—banking, investing and accounting,” said teacher Megan Schwab, who was involved in the options week.
The first day saw Boyd do a virtual presentation on the basics of banking, saving your money, interest rates, credit cards, mortgages and student loans.
Enair delivered a virtual presentation on investments and students had to an investing activity.
Sumner did a presentation on accounting and in the same afternoon Lodders did a presentation on bookkeeping and helped with a book balancing assignment and what that would look like.
Students finished up their budgeting activities and financial scenarios assignments during the other two days of the week.
“Then they had to come up with a new business—like entrepreneurship—and then they had to present it like off of Dragon’s Den to couple of teachers of what that would look like ,” said Schwab.
“They spent a few days going through that—a business proposal, what they all need for their business, how can we get you to invest in us.”
When St. Michael’s has their options week, students are always asked for their input for what they would like.
“In the past, we’ve heard of this, that there has been interest in accounting or bookkeeping, or when we go off in the world next year after graduating (and)what that would look like financially,” she said.
“So, myself, another teacher Mr. (David) Allen and principal (Chris) Sumner just came together, and we thought what a great life skill this would be and for the students to have this opportunity to learn these different avenues and to have guest speakers come virtually present to them.”
Schwab said there are couple of students thinking about pursuing this in post-secondary.
The plan is to open up the financial option to all Grades 10-12 students next year.
Another groups focused on sewing and the third group First Nations during the week.