BOE: Students honored for financial skills

Zach Kozlowski, left, Allison Dapp and Siddharth Jain were honored for their work as Sikorsky Credit Union interns. Not pictured was fellow intern Kindja Mweze. — Brian Gioiele/Hearst Connecticut Media

Need your finances in order? Shelton High has just the foursome to help crunch your numbers.

The Board of Education, at its meeting Tuesday, March 5, recognized Zach Kozlowski, Allison Dapp, Kindja Mweze and Siddharth Jain for their successful run as interns with Sikorsky Credit Union.

“These are aspiring young people,” said school Superintendent Chris Clouet. “I have heard from those at Sikorsky that our Shelton kids are impressive. We know why. We’re proud of you. You are highly regarded for maturity and intelligence.”

These four Shelton High students were part of Sikorsky Credit Union’s “Live Large” program, which includes a paid internship where students have opportunities to not only work at the credit union, but also promote events and take a leadership role in financial literacy within their local communities.

Last May, these four students applied for the internship in what they termed a “formal job application and interview.” Once accepted, the students’ responsibilities included working Saturdays at various branches as greeters, aiding customers on-site. They also participated in “reality fairs,” in which they went to schools and taught students about managing money.

As part of this internship program, these students created a financial literacy presentation which they then gave 10 business classes at Shelton Intermediate School (SIS) earlier in this school year. Over the course of two days, 170 students learned about bank accounts, the basics of lending, and the importance of setting financial goals.

Dan Ruskin of Sikorsky Credit Union works closely with the intern team, adding that each year, the credit union asks that the interns create a financial literacy program within their community.

“The students at Shelton High School jumped on this opportunity and gave Shelton Intermediate School students a very relevant and important lesson that was delivered in a way that I could not as an adult,” said Ruskin after the students’ presentations at SIS. “I am very proud of my team.”

Earlier this year, Sikorsky Credit Union expanded its intern program to include Shelton High School. The credit union also operates its intern program at high schools in Ansonia, Oxford, Seymour and Stratford.

Shelton High Headmaster Dr. Beth Smith said the school has opened discussions with Sikorsky Credit Union about opening an operating branch — staffed by students with the ability for students and staff to conduct their banking during the day — in the building.

Smith said a location within Shelton High has been established, but school officials wanted to get the student internship program off the ground before moving on this latest project.

“We always talk about students and community working together in the learning process,” said Smith. “This [internship] program speaks to that. These students are leaders in our school, leaders in our community.”

Thousands in donations accepted

The Board of Education also voted to accept several donations, including:

• A donation of a new batting screen worth approximately $4,000 from the Shelton High School Diamond Club;

• A donation of $17,509 from the Mohegan School PTO to Mohegan School to purchase an outdoor shelter to be used as a classroom and four picnic tables;

• A $5,000 donation from Big Y for Long Hill School to be used solely for purchase of moveable library furniture;

• A $6,964 donation from Long Hill Elementary School PTO to Long Hill School to be used toward the purchase of 23 Chromebooks and one cart; and

• A donation of $5,764 from Booth Hill School PTO to Booth Hill School for the purchase of library books, iPad stands, book binding materials and an Ozbot class set for the school’s Library Media Center.

• A $611.16 donation from the Booth Hill PTO to Booth Hill School for the purchase of 132 books for the One School One Book Initiative.

• Donations totaling $7,775 from multiple donors for Shelton Intermediate School (SIS) to support “the innovative practices and associated technology tools at SIS.”

• A $773.19 donation to Sunnyside School for the purchase of Learning A-Z — equating to 11 licenses — for the remainder of the school year.

The board also approved the request of Shelton FLL (FIRST Lego League) program to conduct fund-raising activities to help offset the costs of participating in the World Festival Tournament, including the creation of a GoFundMe page, restaurant parent night and seeking donations from local businesses.

Board members also approved a request from the Shelton High School girls softball parents organization to hold fund-raising activities during the coming spring season to aid in covering various team expenses.

brian.gioiele@”hearstmediact.com