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VyStar opens students-operated branch at Clay High

By Wesley LeBlanc Staff Writer
Posted 10/2/19

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay High became the latest high school to open a student-run VyStar Credit Union branch on Sept. 27.

VyStar executives, community leaders, district staff and of course, …

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VyStar opens students-operated branch at Clay High


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Clay High became the latest high school to open a student-run VyStar Credit Union branch on Sept. 27.

VyStar executives, community leaders, district staff and of course, students, gathered in the school library to celebrate the opening of their in-school VyStar, and it was met with universal praise. Students will be able to easily access their accounts and learn fiscal responsibility, something Principal Cary Dicks said is essential at this age in education.

“This is the fourth VyStar Credit Union in the county so we are top-notch and we’re excited about that,” Dicks said. “Our intent is to push our students the furthest that they can go and for them to learn fiscal responsibility at this stage in their life, that is so important.”

The branch will be run by students in collaboration with the Green Cove Springs branch that serves as the school’s mentor branch. Students have already started to learn from VyStar bankers, and the school branch will serve as link to a job right out of high school.

The branch is open to all students and staff at Clay. Much like the Criminal Justice Academy at the school, which was recognized as a model program nationwide, the banking academy will give students specialized education that can lead them directly to a job after graduation.

The branch’s student manager, Matthew Mitchell, is one of 21 students in the program. He said the new branch will help in many ways.

“Because we aren’t necessarily taught things like interview skills, this program allows us to learn new skills,” Mitchell said. “The academy has already come a long way even though we’ve only been here for a short amount of time and I feel like we have helped many students with financial literacy.

“In addition, we provide students with not only the ability to deposit and withdraw money, but also council them on things like what credit card to use and whether they should buy a used car or not. VyStar’s goals for the high school branches are to spread financial literacy, help out the community and they’ve been amazing partners in all of this so far.”

If you didn’t walk through school hallways, you’d be hard-pressed to know VyStar was operated by students.

Superintendent Addison Davis is excited about the branch because it’s another avenue to prepare students for the workforce.

“When we talk about opportunities for children and how to get them ready to compete outside the four walls we call a classroom, this is the example,” Davis said. “One of the prongs of our work is to ensure these children are ready for the workforce and this is a beautiful set up and gives this school another awesome opportunity to be successful.”