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NEWS | Feb. 13, 2020

Session at youth center designed to help students become ‘money smart’

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force provides service members with ample resources to help them achieve financial readiness.

A session scheduled this month at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Youth Programs will help their dependents learn the basics of money management as they transition into adulthood.

The Money Smarts Youth Rally, set for 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 26 at the youth center, building 585, allows students to learn about the value of money and how it affects their lives.

“The youth rally is an outreach event organized to improve financial literacy in our youth population,” said Sarah Henson, JBSA-Randolph Military & Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant.

Formerly part of Military Saves Week, which has been expanded to a monthlong campaign in April, the Money Smarts Youth Rally will be facilitated by representatives of the JBSA-Randolph M&FRC, Broadway Bank and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.

During the event, students will learn about money management, savings, investing and the basics of banking, Henson said.

“Many high schools now teach personal finance courses, which is a giant step toward improving financial literacy in our youth,” she said. “Students today have access to more financial information than ever before. Our hope is that we can provide them the tools they need to put that information to good use.”

Although today’s students are more financially literate than previous generations, they are still vulnerable to some of the pitfalls of money management, Henson said.

“We encourage students to take responsibility for managing small amounts of money at an early age so they can learn the benefits of delayed gratification and compound interest,” she said. “These two aspects of money management are where most young people – and adults – make mistakes. Avoiding debt as well as saving and investing consistently at an early age are key to financial health.”

Henson called the youth rally “one of the highlights of our year for our personal financial readiness team.”

“We know that stress from finances causes our military members to lose time in the workplace and at home,” she said. “Our goal is to plant seeds of financial knowledge in our youth that will ultimately grow to improve the financial lives of our military members and their families.”

The students attending the youth rally are part of the military family, Henson said.

“We want them to achieve their financial goals,” she said. “Many of them will become service members themselves. It is in our best interest to improve the financial literacy of all of our young people – they are our future.”