On May 22, 2015, Heritage Southeast Bank and the Heritage Community Foundation, in conjunction with Patrick Henry High School, celebrated the graduation of students from the first “accredited’ Financial Literacy course, in which the private sector and Heritage Southeast Bank played an important role in the course study.
Rocky Davis, the Executive Director of the Heritage Community Foundation, connected Don Dunlap, an economics teacher at Patrick Henry High School with Robin Gay, EVP at Heritage Southeast Bank. Together, they collaborated on a condensed, intense, 10-week accredited course in Financial Literacy. The theme was designed to represent the “true life” experience of an individual from their first paycheck and checking account to their final days of retirement. Each week, Mrs. Gay brought in a professional speaker from each area of finance to speak with the students about their respective area of expertise. Mr. Dunlap incorporated the state-approved curriculum around each of the speakers’ topics, creating the course and establishing the class.
The class was a huge success. The hook that encouraged them to begin this study was the chance to complete an accredited class in a shorter time limit. The goal was to teach these students the basics in order to become good community citizens through Financial Literacy. This goal was achieved through the time and efforts of Heritage Southeast Bank, the Heritage Community Foundation, Patrick Henry High School, and especially the students.
All students, teachers and professionals were blessed with a unique experience through a study curriculum in which the students were fully engaged, interested, and had the desire to learn. The professionals were amazed and thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with students who were willing to learn. Jack Bowdoin, Market President of Heritage Southeast Bank said “A little recognition and words of encouragement to those students going through Patrick Henry, at times, is all that is needed to give them the desire to succeed.”
Now that a model is set, Heritage Southeast Bank and Henry County High Schools are looking forward to expanding and to create the classes for next year.
Thanks to Don Dunlap and Robin Gay for a job well done. Without their hard work and dedication to this project, this particular Financial Literacy class would not have happened. Also, a special thanks to the Heritage Southeast Bank employees and business partners that donated their time and resources to teach these classes over the past semester.