New Mexico Partnership Engages Low-income High School Students
This Spring, representatives from Las Cruces (NM) Public Schools began discussions with the Dona Ana County Money Smart Week1 team. The team soon coalesced on providing Money Smart for Young People training during the 2021 Crimson Annual Summer Institute (“Institute”).
The Institute engages students participating in New Mexico State University’s TRIO Upward Bound2 program at the Gadsden Independent School District/Las Cruces (NM) Public Schools. It provides a virtual six-week (June 1 – July 13, 2021) educational program. This summer, the programming included a new component, Wellness Wednesdays, featuring health and financial wellness programming.
The Dona Ana County Money Smart Week team coordinated six Money Smart for Young People sessions every Wednesday for 25-30 students. Local bankers had the lead role in presenting the training, along with other community partners. “We were excited to be engaged as this was a no-brainer partnership for us,” said Amanda Morales, CEO of United Way of Southwest New Mexico?
According to New Mexico State University, over 76% of students in this district receive a free or reduced lunch. “This program is an example of how banks are working with partners to use Money Smart as a tool to reach into communities that might not otherwise gain access to quality financial education,” said Luke Reynolds, Chief of Outreach and Program Development.
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1 Dona Ana County Money Smart Week is a local public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances team.
2 Upward Bound is a federally funded program that helps low-income and first-generation students attend and graduate from college.