Out of all the subjects that kids learn in school, how to manage money can sometimes fall through the cracks. But now some Brookings High School students are entering the virtual world for a real life lesson in personal finance.
Credit cards, mortgages, taxes; that may seem like pretty dry, irrelevant stuff to a teenager; but, not in one Brookings classroom.
"There's a lesson on there called renting versus owning and it describes on there the difference between renting an apartment and a mortgage on a house and the advantages and disadvantages to both," senior Preston Parker said.
Parker is among the personal finance students who've completed the EverFi program on his own time. It's optional and takes students about six hours on their own to finish.
"It helped them live a life that showed them what a bad credit score actually can do to your life. It helped teach them to do their own taxes and to live in this virtual, simulated life to see the ramifications of some of their decisions," teacher Laura Quail said.
"Kids my age are very technology centered, so it's a very good thing to have it online and interactive," sophomore Lia Bertolini said.
The EverFi program for students is a good example of community school partnership. First Bank & Trust in Brookings funded the program and rewards each student with a cash incentive for completing it.
And the students say while the $25 they received to deposit into a bank account was a plus; it wasn't their reason for completing it.
"I'm going to school next year. I'll be on my own out of the house. [It's] something to learn for myself to help me out a little bit," Parker said.
And their teacher hopes they will be able to apply these lessons to their own lives soon.
"That they'll know how to manage their money better; that they'll have an idea on how to use credit; manage credit. And ultimately going to school costs money and when they're solicited with all these credit cards, they'll maybe think of the ramifications of all that, Quail said.