May 8, 2023, was a great day of celebration for a group of local students at CNB’s Downtown Banking Center. The Bank hosted members of the Meridian Housing Authority’s Youth Build program who completed an 8-week financial literacy course which was held at the Bank.
Participants in the program learned about banking basics such as budgeting, saving, and how to use credit wisely, and leaders of the program included: Neil Henry, CNB’s Meridian Regional President; Tra Alford, the Bank’s Community Development Director; and Tyeisha Smith, who is a Community Development Officer for the Bank.
Gretchen Luvene, Project Director for the Meridian Housing Authority’s Youth Build Program, said the youth development program is designed to help at-risk young people between the ages of 16 and 24 obtain their GED as well as to learn a skill or trade that can be beneficial to them going forward. “We want to help them get on the right track with their lives, and we’re so honored and thankful to have this great partnership with Citizens National Bank,” she said.
Tra Alford, Community Development Officer for the Bank, said: “Learning these vital skills now can really make a difference for these young people’s future. Unfortunately, there is a lack of financial literacy embedded within the classroom curriculums that our youth are exposed to, but financial education is a very important component to be successful. It’s extremely important for them to learn how to budget, to understand how their credit score is determined, and many other things they can do to have a healthy financial picture at the end of the day,” he added.
Throughout the course, the students took part in games and other activities to make learning fun, and they were very eager to learn according to bank officials. The day of celebration included a tour of the vault and various departments in the Bank. Students were also awarded with certificates of completion which signified their successful participation in the program.