Last week, parents, students and Springfield Public Schools supporters celebrated the newly renovated Hillcrest High School. About an hour after the ribbon-cutting, they learned that Hillcrest is getting a new program too — a student-run credit union.
Superintendent Grenita Lathan announced that Hillcrest will house a Volt Credit Union branch inside the school starting next school year. A Volt employee and Hillcrest teacher will supervise a team of about 10 to 15 students who will work shifts during the school day. And the credit union will be open to Hillcrest staff and students.
Lathan said this will be the first student-run credit union on a high school campus in Missouri. The program addresses a priority in the recently updated district plan, to enhance real-world opportunities for students.
“Expanding options that allow students to explore career and workforce pathways before they graduate will help them identify areas of interest and begin to prepare early to pursue their goals,” she said in an accompanying news release.
Loretta Roney, Volt Credit Union president and CEO, joined Lathan onstage at Hillcrest to announce the partnership and said the credit union will help students develop financial literacy and personal financial management skills. The partnership with the Springfield-based credit union will also offer learning experiences linked to coursework in personal finance, introduction to business and freshman seminar.
Tanya Clinton, who directs the medical assistant program at Midwest Technical Institute, praised the idea after hearing it at Hillcrest Thursday night. She said many young adults in the area could benefit from more financial literacy skills.
“I have a 22- and a 21-year-old now, and they definitely could have benefited from having that financial teaching, she said. “There are so many students that don’t have that at home. Their parents are struggling. So if they can learn it when they’re in high school, when they’re getting their first jobs and they’re getting their first access to money and they can learn how to manage it, we’re probably going to see less people struggle in life and more people learn how to save and more people be financially secure.”
‘You’ve got the boujee high school’: Springfield’s northside celebrates renovated Hillcrest High School
The final wing, comprised of 29 new classrooms and three performing arts spaces, is now open.