The Ridgewood Savings Bank has been dedicated to teaching financial literacy all over the city since the 1980s and recently paired with the non-profit, Lessons for my Daughters, to help young girls learn about the importance of responsible personal finances.
Students from the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria were able to learn the basics of opening a bank account, writing a check, identity theft and investing in themselves.
Nicole McFadden, a 10th-grader at the Young Women’s Leadership School said the program was really rewarding for her.
“Mostly I learned about having confidence in myself,” said McFadden. “Me personally, I like to spend money. So learning how to budget my money and what the best way to save money is, [was] something that I valued a lot from taking part in this program.”
The class was held over Zoom in April with about 15 students in attendance. Due to COVID-19, the bank hasn’t been able to reach as many people. In 2019, Ridgewood Savings Bank taught over 15,000 students.
Lou Ann Mannino, the vice president of Ridgewood Savings Bank, said they have always taken financial education very seriously.
“We’ve always felt that financial literacy was important for us to get out and talk about it,” said Mannino. “We do it because we’re a community bank and we really believe that smart saving habits that start earlier in life make for a better future.”
According to a study done by Walden University, four out of seven Americans are financially illiterate and unable to manage their finances.
“We want them thinking about savings, we want them to know that that’s in the forefront of where their future lies,” said Mannino. “They really need to start thinking about it and making those good [decisions] now.”
The Ridgewood Savings Bank tailors their lessons to the age group they are visiting. The bank also holds many other financial literacy programs such as Teach Children to Save, Save for Seniors, Get Smart About Credit and Lights, Camera, Save.
The partnership between the bank and Lessons for my Daughters has been going on for the past three years with no plans to stop anytime soon.
Carmin Caterina, the founder of Lessons for my Daughters, said that their partnership is mutually beneficial since they have similar commitments to teaching young girls they have control of their future, financial or otherwise.
“Anything that we’re trying to achieve we’re usually the biggest things standing in our own way,” said Caterina. “So really teaching them that there are no limits, we see limits because of our environment but we can transcend all of that.”