Money management may be learned by students in their classrooms or later in life, but Capital One Bank hopes to give New York students hands-on, real-world financial experience through new branches operated by the students at their schools.

“The idea behind the program is to really impress upon young people that managing their money is a critical life skill and it is something that is much better taught young and hopefully will set them up for future success in life,” Stacey Cooper, vice president of community development banking at Capital One, told the AFRO in a recent interview.

The fully-operational Capital One Student Branches offer savings accounts to everyone, and checking accounts to teachers. The student bankers operate under the supervision of Capital One managers and are also responsible for teaching their peers the importance of money-management skills, including saving and budgeting.

The bank currently has three student branches throughout the New York area, including the newest branch at Thurgood Marshall High School in Harlem, N.Y.

Cooper added that a recent survey from Capital One revealed that 75 percent of residents in New York believed teens don’t have the tools and education they need to be financially literate. She believes the branch program directly addresses this issue.

“We really are attempting to address that need for financial education in creating the branch program,” Cooper said.

According to Capital One, student participants have strongly benefited from the program, saying they feel more prepared to manage their finances in the future.

“This truly unique experience helped me to attain responsibility, wisdom in the workforce, and a strong grasp on the concept of financial literacy,” Matthew Reyes, participant in the Capital One Bank Student-Run Branch said in a statement. “I was challenged to push myself further, allowing me to grow not only as a student or employee but as an adult.”


Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor