April is Financial Literacy month in Mississippi, and experts are working to educate students across the state about how to have a strong financial future.
The Mississippi Council on Economic Education is holding their annual Personal Finance Challenge where students from across the state gather to compete and learn about economics. Students who rank high in the challenge can receive scholarship funding, but experts like MCEE President Selena Swartzfager say the lessons learned could benefit students for the rest of their lives.
“We want these young people to grow into adults who know how to make good decisions. And even if they don’t remember every single detail about what they learned in the classroom, they’ve learned the importance of making good financial decisions, and they will know where to go to find the answers.”
Swartzfager says this year’s graduating senior class will be the first to have mandatory financial literacy instruction.
Among the participants in the Personal Finance Challenge is a team from McLaurin High School. Cyber Foundations Teacher Eric Hite says the mock scenarios help students put their financial education into practice and see real world applications.
“These 7-12th graders are considered financial experts. They’re going to give advice to these judges about what’s wrong with these scenarios that they’re given. That’s the cool thing. And I’m here with 7th graders. And my 7th graders are out there with a plan about how to help this person out of this financial situation that they’re in. My 7th graders.”
Financial experts say understanding the core principles of economics can help students earn more money in their lives and stay out of debt.