Hillside High School, one of the few remaining historically Black high schools in North Carolina, has taken a remarkable step towards empowering its students by opening a Student Bank Training Center on its campus. Because, this fully functioning bank not only prepares students for their future but also promotes financial literacy among them. In addition, the bank offers numerous services, including checking and savings accounts, to students, staff, and families alike. Operating as an official branch of Woodforest National Bank, which already runs nearly 80 branches across North Carolina, the new Student Bank Training Center at Hillside High School is the first of its kind within a high school. This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide practical hands-on experience in banking, as well as equip students with crucial financial knowledge that will serve them well in their lives beyond high school.
Kiara Lowther, a student at Hillside High School and a Loan Officer at the bank, stated, “Before I took this class, I used to spend money on fast food and a lot of pointless stuff. But Ms. Ross showed us how to balance our money and how to save up.” Kiara’s story reflects the positive influence of the program, which has enabled students to develop a more responsible approach to money management. By incorporating a fully functioning bank into the school, Hillside High School has created an environment that fosters financial responsibility and prepares students for real-world financial challenges. The availability of checking and savings accounts within the school enables students to learn firsthand how to manage their money effectively.
Not only does the Student Bank Training Center benefit students, but it also extends its services to the school’s staff and families. By offering accessible banking services within the school premises, Hillside High School promotes financial inclusivity and ensures that everyone associated with the school community has access to essential financial resources. By prioritizing financial literacy and providing practical opportunities for students to develop their financial skills, Hillside High School is empowering its students and equipping them with tools for success in the real world.