The Latest ASH News
By Destiny Stafford '17
This school year, seven seniors at Sacred Heart are lucky enough to participate in an interactive and educational course about financial concepts and entrepreneurship. The course is titled "Financial Literacy," and it is taught by PJ's Coffee on Magazine owner Aubry Miller. While the majority of class participants do not anticipate majoring in business, we are learning that regardless of our career path, "everyone is in business."
We began by taking two online prerequisite courses over the summer sponsored by Iberia Bank. In our first online course on personal financial literacy, we learned about a variety of finance concepts. We learned about the differences between debit and credit cards and how paying or not paying these debts influences your personal credit score. The course demonstrated the importance of a good credit score, especially when buying a house, purchasing a car or even getting a job. Now is the time to start establishing good credit. The course also taught us about savings, specifically how simple financial habits can help us achieve a savings goal. We learned about the inputs to decisions about buying versus renting, insurance, taxes, investments and even the inner workings of the U.S. banking system and the Federal Reserve.
In our second online course on entrepreneurship, we were led on an entrepreneurial expedition, involving starting our own food truck business. This interactive learning experience taught us about the many factors that are involved when starting a business, walking us through the key variables to consider. We established a business plan that involved the name and location of our business, the population we would be targeting, an evaluation of our competitors, as well as an income statement. We also chose a starting team of employees who would help the business to grow as well as any additional services that made our business unique. Another aspect to this entrepreneurial experience involved choosing our own role in the venture, whether it was the manager or maybe even the cook. We also thought about an effective promotional strategy for how we would get the word out about our business.
In the classroom at Sacred Heart, we are learning everything from writing a lease to business financials. Throughout the year, we are also given the opportunity to work each morning at the small franchise of the popular PJ's chain that opened on Sacred Heart's campus last year. We began the semester by learning about the basic running of a PJ's franchise, from the recipes to the day-to-day work that comes with managing a business. We were taught how to successfully keep track of money through balancing the cash box after each shift, how to best organize items within a business for better efficiency, and how important it is to keep track of inventory. Working shifts throughout the school year gives us real life experience when dealing with products as well as customers. We have become knowledgeable on licenses, permits and leases. In addition to Mrs. Miller's instruction, we have benefited from the guidance of guest speakers who are helping us build our business plans, which will include all of the details of every legal document and financial concept needed to start a business. This course has allowed us to be able to plan more accordingly for our futures by putting into perspective the importance of budgeting money and the best ways to do so.
Sacred Heart is breaking boundaries and creating new opportunities for applied learning that will ease the transition to the job market and make our graduates more appealing to future employers. My fellow seniors and I now have a solid foundation in both personal and business finances, which can often be a stumbling block to young entrepreneurs. Sacred Heart is helping its students become not only college-ready but also ready for the tough job market that awaits them. These types of applied learning courses stand out to future employers.
Above: Iberia Bank representatives presented certificates to students upon completion of the Financial Scholars online program powered by EverFi as a prerequisite to the Financial Literacy course.
- The Bridge, Winter 2017