If you don't think kids can learn how to be smart with money, Lourdes Maestres will make a believer out of you.
"My 6-year-old has a bank account," says Maestres, a Miami-based business banker for Regions. "She can already manage her money."
Luckily, her three children aren't the only ones benefiting from Maestres' passion for teaching financial literacy. Like many Regions bankers, she is helping local students learn financial skills through the Scholars & Dollars program.
The classes teach children simple ways to create a budget and spend their allowances wisely. In a world where athletes, musicians and other popular role models are known for their extravagant lifestyles, these lessons can show kids a more responsible path.
"It's one thing to make money," Maestres tells students. "It's another thing to manage it responsibly."
Maestres believes it's more important than ever for children to understand issues such as banking basics, savings accounts and loans. Getting started on the right track early can help students avoid pitfalls such as excessive debt.
"In this country, there is an obvious lack of financial education," she says, "and it's important children learn about this at a very young age."
The program connects bankers and educators with proven tools to help teach children from grades 4-12. The classes are clear and compelling, keeping kids entertained while teaching them skills that could improve lives for generations to come.