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Parent Survival Guide: Mandatory finance class for high school students

Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 2:56 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Since Lucy Beckham High school opened its doors last fall, Personal Finance teacher Bill Joy has made it his business to guide his students through the basics of exploring finances.

Those skills are something he says most kids and even adults lack once they enter the real world.

“These are the topics and info I wish I had when I was their age and could have avoided a lot of financial issues,” Joy said.

The mandatory class for 10th graders tackles topics like credit cards, creating and maintaining a bank account, budgeting, as well as having a financial game plan for college.

Student Molly Kate Drake says the class has been a big eye opener for her.

“I could see reality because I was like oh my gosh college is so expensive and how will I afford this. I also see how important saving is for college but another thing we have learned is budgeting,” Drake said.

Thomas Oppold says learning about managing money is setting him up for real life success.

“I think as we get older and get our first job it will give us a starting point not a lot of people have because this class was offered to us,” Oppold said.

Joy says The year long required course is taught every other day. The curriculum along with a $10,000 grant is from Non Profit Next Gen Personal Finance.

“We find the kids are learning more than the parents and bringing home information and teaching their own parents which is awesome. Hopefully my class will not only help them with basic finance but also excitement about business in general,” Joy said.

“It’s just as important as core classes like math or science because you always have to know how to deal with money. Everyone will have to get a job at some point and you will have to know how to do that stuff yourself,” Drake said.

Joy says with the recent grant money for the course he hopes to expand the program to eventually offer an investing club at his school.

He also hopes to also buy more books and teaching materials for the course with the money.

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