Hillside High School, one of North Carolina’s few remaining historically Black high schools, has established a Student Bank Training Center, a fully operational bank on campus that trains students for the future and promotes financial literacy.
Hillside’s bank provides a variety of services, such as checking and savings accounts, to students, faculty, and families. It is a branch of Woodforest National Bank, which has approximately 80 locations in North Carolina. It is the primary branch of a high school.
The bank employs a formal workforce of service representatives. It provides students enrolled in Hillside’s Business and Finance Academy with the opportunity to obtain practical experience through internships at the bank.
“Hopefully, this will generate more interest in students wanting to learn more about the Finance Academy, especially those students considering careers in accounting or finance. They will undoubtedly see Hillside High School as a premier destination for their education,” Priscella Ross, head of the Business and Finance Academy, told WUNC.
The impact of the financial literacy program is already being felt among the students. One of the students, Kiara Lowther, who serves as a Loan Officer at the bank said, “Before I took this class, I used to spend money on fast food and a lot of pointless stuff. But Ms. Ross showed us how to balance our money and how to save up.”