This third full week in July, New Song Academy hosted SIF’s final guest speaker of the year, Catrice Keys. New Song’s school year ends in July and that gave us a chance to invite Catrice Keys of MECU to visit a group of 6th graders. Catrice works as a financial advisor and with that background, she knew exactly what to share and how to successfully engage with the class. Says Ms. Jackson, the classroom teacher, “The value of having guest speakers from the finance industry visit SIF students is that students are motivated to ask questions that they wouldn’t ask me as their classroom teacher, about specific topics in the industry”. For example, yesterday students asked Ms. Catrice about companies that they should invest in and were interested to possibly have access to information that others wouldn’t. Ms. Catrice did an excellent job being relatable. She introduced new vocabulary but also spoke in a language that the 6th graders could understand. She didn’t bombard them with jargon, but probed them to use information they already knew, to make connections to what she introduced. The students definitely engaged with Ms. Catrice, and we hope to learn more from her in the future.”

We promise all our SIF partner schools that once a year, a representative from the financial community will visit their class. Before the visit, we meet with the presenter to discuss what the class has learned in our curriculum and where they are headed next. Guest speakers have the freedom to create their own presentation, or we have some PowerPoints and other activities that they may choose to use as well. Each visit is a success because students learn about career opportunities they might have never thought about and they get a prospective from a professional that’s so valuable. Some classes develop ongoing relationships with their guest presenter and the relationship evolves throughout the year. This year we’ve had guests from PNC, T Rowe Price, Brown Advisory, Lombard Securities, NASA, M&T Bank, and Ameriprise Financial, just to name a few. We are always looking for volunteers to work with our students. If you are interested or know someone interested, please contact SIF’s Executive Director at [email protected].

Pictured is Catrice Keys presenting at New Song Academy.