A team of students from Vanier Collegiate have been lauded for their creativity and financial know-how after being selected as finalists in a Canada-wide challenge on financial literacy.
Josh Auger, Lauren Walcer, Grace Kiefer and Memphis Peters were one group of 3,000 participants from across the country to take part in the My Money, My Future Challenge from the Canadian Foundation of Economic Education and CIBC.
Students were asked to create a new resource or tool they felt would help other young Canadians improve their financial skills, understanding and capabilities.
As the final project for their accounting class, the Moose Jaw team created a pair of videos that focus on money-related topics they felt were important to young adults: a commercial about credit card debt, and a music video explaining investing using rap.
“Financial literacy is something people expect you to know about, but no one ever teaches you,” said Walcer. “So we created something so people can learn how to invest, different kinds of investments, how a credit card works and the benefits of it, rather than being a scary piece of plastic.”
Every part of these videos was done by Vanier students, from writing the script to acting to filming with the help of fellow student Jenny Conway.
They felt music and videos were an ideal format to keep the attention of teens and make potentially complicated information easier to remember.
High school students from across the country took part in the challenge, with a finalist from each province selected to move on to the national level for a chance at one of three cash prizes of up to $10,000.
“We weren’t expecting to win even for Saskatchewan, we thought this was just a fun little project we can do,” said Peters. “But when we were announced as the Saskatchewan winners, we were like, ‘this is insane.’”
Although the Moose Jaw team didn’t win one of the top three prizes, all four students agreed the experience of the competition was educational and a great opportunity.
“It’s definitely been a unique learning opportunity, and we’ve gotten to try new things like doing interviews over virtual formats, making different types of videos,” said Kiefer. “And with all the things we researched, it's better to start younger in learning about finances, to prepare yourself for the future.”
“I’d say if you’re given the opportunity [to do this], go for it,” said Walcer. “Just go out of your comfort zone.”
Both of the videos created by Auger, Walcer, Kiefer and Peters can be viewed on YouTube or on the challenge website, and Vanier has plans to use both videos as part of its accounting curriculum in the future.