Preparing high schoolers to go off to college or enter the workforce after graduating is an incredibly important part of the high school experience. To ensure that students have the greatest chance for success, La Porte High School and Horizon Bank have teamed up to promote financial literacy and prepare students for the future.
For La Porte High School students, getting the chance to work at Horizon Bank’s ‘Slicer Branch’ is a valuable experience that teaches them the basics of banking, which includes knowledge and skills that will last a lifetime.
Horizon Bank Slicer Branch manager, Lisa Marshall, has worked with students at the high school for two years now.
“This is one of their first steps into banking,” Marshall said. “They also get credit for working at the branch too so this is like a class for them and they get a grade. We’re only in our first month with Horizon taking over but there has been quite a bit of interest from students.”
“We don’t actually have an ATM here but we’re a full service branch so we can do anything that a regular branch can do,” added Marshall. “We can make money orders and cashier’s checks. The kids run the transactions, balance their drawers, and they can get referrals to help draw other kids in to open accounts.”
Horizon Bank and La Porte High School are striving to get kids involved so that when they go out into the real world they’re already educated on things like debit cards, credit, saving money and identity theft.
La Porte High School seniors, Julissa Campos and Jon Williams, both work at the Slicer Branch. They spoke about the opportunity and what they’ve learned working with Horizon Bank.
“Mrs. Maxey came into our class and told us about the job,” Campos said. “She gave me the application which I filled out and took back to her office, and then I ended up getting an interview.”
“I just wanted to try it out and I ended up liking it a lot,” said Campos. “I had a bank account before but I didn’t know how to fill anything out so I’ve learned a lot more now.”
Williams found out about the opportunity through a friend who had previously worked at the Slicer Branch during high school.
“We’ve learned the basics here but when I’ve gotten to work at the main branch I’ve learned about a lot of things like paying off loans and cashier’s checks,” Williams said. “I worked at the main branch for a couple weeks during the summer but we have the opportunity to work as much as we like.”
Students apply for the positions available at the Slicer Branch through Horizon Bank where they also have the opportunity to learn about and go through the hiring and interview process.
“This time every year I go into the classroom and promote all of the Experiential Learning that we have,” said LPHS College and Career Counselor, Tami Maxey. “I make sure they know that they have this opportunity. They actually interview with Horizon Bank which is another phenomenal thing for them to have to go through. They’re going through the process to be hired and then they go through training so all of this is real-world.”
La Porte High School Associate Principal, Scott Upp, also spoke about the opportunities that working at the Slicer Branch affords students.
“It’s been a great opportunity for students and they gain the skills that they need to if banking or finance is something that they’re interested in,” Upp said. “They can work outside of school and on their breaks so it’s not just limited to the Slicer Branch. They (Horizon) have really opened it up for students to gain more knowledge outside of our high school branch.”
“It’s a great resume builder for our students as well,” Upp continued. “It’s not only great on a resume but, when you’re applying to colleges, anything that you can do to separate yourself from a group of students is eye opening for those people who are deciding whether or not you get the job or admitted to a college. This stands out a little bit on a work resume or a college application. It teaches them about more than just a job. It teaches them responsibility, being on time and those soft skills that are so important.”