New Experiences for Local Youth Through Edgewood Village Scholars Program
The building blocks of a strong financial future are starting right here in East Lansing.
Beginning in April of this year, MSU Federal Credit Union established a partnership with the Edgewood Village Scholars Program at the Edgewood Village Apartments, located at 6213 Towar Garden Circle, to provide financial education to children in grades 6 through 12 living in the complex.
The Edgewood Village Scholars Program is a college preparatory program for students who live in the apartments. Edgewood Village is a 135 multi-family, low-income rental property in the East Lansing School District. The program is designed to provide participants with personalized academic support, individual mentoring, and extracurricular enrichment opportunities to prepare them to be college ready by their high school graduation dates. Students are admitted into the program at the end of their 5th grade year based on a rigorous application process. The program goal is to get all scholars accepted into a four-year college or university by helping them achieve a 3.4 or higher GPA and a 23 or higher ACT score.
MSUFCU has taken on the role of providing fun educational and developmental experiences for the scholars once a month since April 2014. Topics have included basic banking, fraud and identity theft, and budgeting.
“The financial education sessions have helped the scholars develop ways to budget their money not only now, but when they go to college,” said Edgewood Village Scholars Program Director, Jonathan Rosewood. “I also think the sessions have helped the students understand what their parents have to do on a day-to-day basis to sacrifice for the family.”
According to Rosewood, the feedback he’s received from the scholars has been positive.
“The scholars are enjoying the financial education sessions and learning a lot,” he said, adding that they journal and reflect on the experiences they have in the program. “One scholar wrote, ‘It is helping me with visualizing what life is like for adults.’ Another wrote, ‘It is helping me with how to spend money wisely.’ I think the information is affecting them in a good way. Not only do I want the scholars to learn about college, but I want them to be financially free and have no debt.”
With the success of this partnership thus far, both the Edgewood Village Scholars Program and MSUFCU plan to keep it going by growing the educational opportunities for the youth involved.
“Partnering with MSUFCU has been a great experience and I am happy that the scholars have had the opportunity to have these sessions,” Rosewood said. “I hope the partnership can continue.”