First Financial Northwest Bank is proud to announce that we have renewed our partnership with the Renton High School (RHS) Football Program to provide financial literacy skills to students by utilizing a highly original and successful teaching method that was developed through this partnership last year.
FFNWB employees have volunteered to educate the roughly - 50 players on the RHS football team about key topics in personal finance, such as banking, savings, credit reports, identity theft, debt management, and loans. The series of six classes fills the students’ down time between the end of the school day and their home games, and the Bank treats the team to a pre-game meal from a local food truck after each hour-long session.
This unusual arrangement not only gives the students a place to go after school, which presents an immediate material benefit. It also provides them with sound financial literacy tools that will serve them for a lifetime.
Last year, head football coach, Tim Tramp, contacted FFNWB’s President and CEO, Joe Kiley, about providing some kind of support for the RHS football players; however, as they started discussing what the community bank could do for the team, they realized they had an opportunity to make a more lasting impact on the students’ lives. Coach Tramp espouses a philosophy that uses football to teach lifelong skills.
During the first session in the series, which took place on Thursday, June 2, the volunteers and students tackled the basics of banking, giving the kids a rare opportunity to ask Bank employees directly about specific scenarios. Tramp was impressed at the number of questions that the players posed, observing, “There’s a big difference between getting financial advice from a parent or teacher and hearing it from an actual banker.”
The Bank’s employees have responded enthusiastically again this year, filling up nearly every available volunteer slot for the sessions—ten slots per class—which will resume in the fall term.
The classes also come at a crucial moment for the students, who find themselves on the cusp of adulthood and financial independence. Tramp notes that after graduation, his football players will head to technical college and universities, while a few will work immediately afterward. He adds, “Most will be on their own.”
Kiley stresses, “What is driving my passion to build this program was realizing too late that I hadn’t taught my own kids how to manage their debit cards and checkbooks before I sent them off to college.”
“Now, I want our Bank to share its success with the community by promoting financial literacy as a lasting way to support kids in our area,” he says.