Parker & Fort Mohave teens improve an average of 70 percent
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz.—August 29, 2017— The statistics are shocking: 76 percent of millennials cannot answer basic financial wellness questions, and more than 20 percent graduate high school without a baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy.¹ Horizon Community Bank’s Financial Literacy Community Impact Report for the 2016-17 school year reflects an average improvement of 70 percent– an exciting foundation to build on as students begin a new school year.
Over the last school year, Horizon Community Bank has helped close the gap in two rural Arizona communities, Parker and Fort Mohave, with its free financial education course. Delivered at no cost to taxpayers, schools or parents, the program has had a striking impact on low- to moderate-income communities where more than 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch programs. During the 2016-17 school year, 40 high school students at two high schools invested over 240 hours of digital learning on topics ranging from saving, budgeting, insurance and taxes to college financial aid, raising scores on assessment tests an average of 70 percent.
“Arizona high schools are challenged with fitting in all of the core curriculum they’re required to teach and life skills outside of that curriculum–like money management–often fall by the wayside. Parker High School understands the importance of financial skills and the impact it has on successful adulthood for its students, and we wanted to help. As bankers, we know financial skills are incredibly important, impacting our entire adult life in thousands of ways – from writing a check to understanding how to build credit or invest, these skills are significant. We’re proud to make this program available to Parker students at no cost to the school, parents or taxpayers,” said Jerry Ernst, president and CEO of Horizon Community Bank.
Powered by EverFi, the Horizon Community Bank Financial Scholars program provides web-based training designed for use in a classroom setting. Its interactive games and components are designed to engage students, and cover a variety of financial topics, such as balancing a checking account, money management, credit cards and interest rates, taxes and insurance, the importance of credit and how to build a good credit score, and college loans.
“By partnering with the wonderful teachers whose passion is to enrich the lives of their students, the Horizon Community Bank Financial Scholars program helps students gain the critical skills necessary to make them successful for the rest of their lives,” said EverFi Founder and CEO Tom Davidson. “We are striving to create a world with fewer bankruptcies, fewer people defaulting on their student loans and more people who feel in control of their financial future. Through Horizon Community Bank’s investment in these students, we are one step closer.”
Based on the success found at Parker High School (Parker, Ariz.) and River Valley High School (Fort Mohave, Ariz.), Horizon Community Bank is evaluating potential of growing the program to Arizona high schools in Mesa, Lake Havasu City and Quartzsite – those communities where bank branches are located.
Horizon Community Bank is a locally owned and operated FDIC insured commercial bank with branches in Fort Mohave, Lake Havasu City, Mesa, Parker and Quartzsite, Arizona, plus loan offices in Kingman, Goodyear and Henderson, Nevada. It has over 70 employees and provides high-touch, customized financial services to those in the healthcare, transportation, real estate and technology industries, as well as general commercial and consumer services. Horizon Community Bank is a subsidiary of holding company Horizon Bancorp, Inc.
Horizon Community Bank supports local communities. September’s non-profit partner of the month is Mohave Community College Foundation, located in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Learn more at HorizonCommunityBank.com.
¹ Source: EverFi Infographic
EverFi, Inc. is a leading education technology company focused on teaching, assessing and certifying K-12 and college students in the critical skills they need for life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EverFi investors, including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Learn more at everfi.com.
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This press release may contain forward-looking statements, estimates or predictions deemed “forward-looking” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to factors such as market, regulatory, economic and other conditions, and may involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties that impact actual results. Undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements. Horizon Community Bank does not have any intention or obligation to update forward-looking statements, except as required by law.