While students deposit and withdraw money from a new Navigator Credit Union on Bryant High School’s campus, they’ll be learning important lessons about personal finance.
As will the bank tellers, who will also be students.
Through a unique partnership, Navigator Credit Union and Bryant High School on Tuesday opened the bank’s newest branch inside the south Mobile County school.
Located in a former storage room near the school’s auditorium, the ultra-modern branch features a nautical vibe. It includes a non-traditional teller counter to conduct banking transactions, along with a learning area for students to engage with employees to understand more about personal financial management.
“At first, the student branch was just an idea,” said Genevieve Rigby, Bryant’s Academy Specialist. “The dream of providing students with an opportunity to work and learn important financial life skills became a plan. Navigator put the plan into action, and the result is a branch run by students that will provide everyone at Alma Bryant with access to convenient, affordable financial services.”
This is part of Mobile County Public Schools’ efforts to graduate more students who are ready for college and careers. The school system has partnered with local businesses to provide real-life training and mentoring in various fields.
Navigator officials have been teaching financial literacy to Bryant students for the past five years. During that time, the idea to open a student-run bank on the campus emerged.
“There are so many students who don’t know how to manage their money, how to balance a checkbook,” said Kathy Scarbrough, Chief Communications Officer for Navigator Credit Union. “The school places an emphasis on the holistic learning of students and we are proud to be a part of that with the opening of this branch.”
Alma Bryant is home to Mobile County’s Signature Academy of Coastal Studies. The school also has academies in Business Management and Leadership, the Cambridge Program and Humanities.
“There are very few skills that will impact students more than successfully learning how to manage their money,” said Robert Fertitta, Navigator Credit Union President & CEO. Increasing financial literacy is a high priority for our credit union, and we are pleased to share key information with students that they will use for a lifetime.”
Bryant Principal Doug Estle said he is thankful for the partnership.
“We are extremely grateful to Navigator Credit Union for the investment they have to commit resources needed to create a world-class financial center that will engage students in a stimulating environment,” Estle said.