Two student paths impacted by financial literacy progra

Two student paths impacted by financial literacy programming with TS Bank

May 5, 2021 | TS Bank

Hear from two local students who were impacted at an early age by TS Institute, the financial literacy arm of TS Bank. Both eager learners and now juniors in high school, have plans to continue their paths in the finance and investing arena, and perhaps even as a future entrepreneur or Certified Public Accountant. Read personal interviews from Faith Christensen, junior at Thomas Jefferson High School and Brady Coffman, junior at Treynor High School below.

Faith Christensen, Junior at Thomas Jefferson High School

faith christensen headshot

What was your first experience with TS Bank and financial literacy?

My first experience with TS Bank was in my fourth grade year. This was the program launch of banking education at Rue Elementary and they needed a couple of fourth graders to apply and become student bankers. So, I decided I wanted to give it a try!

How have these programs helped you on your financial journey?

Having the exposure at a young age with TS Bank taught me about saving my money and not spending it all the time. Additionally, financial literacy education allowed me to learn that I love banking, especially being a student banker! I really enjoyed adding up the money! This experience has also encouraged me to have more questions and the desire to learn more about banking.

Can you tell us about your experience as a student banker at Rue and Wilson?

Yes, I was a banker at both Rue Elementary and Wilson Middle School. I wanted to join my fourth grade year because I have always been a math person. I really enjoyed adding money together and learning about checkbooks and balancing. I was one of the first bankers that year at Rue Elementary when the in-school bank launched!

While in seventh grade, my english teacher at Wilson encouraged me to apply for the TS Bank student banker position, and I went through the interview process. There I was again as a student banker, along with four others students and continued my learning.

With the new TS Bank Yellow Jacket Career Exploration Experience at Thomas Jefferson High School, what new things have you learned so far?

I'm in the TS Bank Career Exploration Program and it's going very well. There's a lot more to banking than what I thought there was! So far from the career exploration program I have gained knowledge about different personality types and how they can all work together. I have also learned about everything that goes into how a bank makes money with loans and deposits. I have discovered a lot more about banking than I thought I ever would!

Any favorite memories with financial literacy school programs?

One of my favorite memories was in fourth grade, once the student bankers were announced. We went to a TS Bank on-site and got a tour with lots of hands-on training to learn more about banking. Overall, I thought it was fun going into a bank and looking around as well as meeting some bankers.

What is something you have learned because of these programs?

I know much more about banking today and savings due to these programs. I have learned how a bank runs on the inside, and how there is more than just what meets the eye. This includes people like lenders, bankers and more to run a bank. I have also learned more in detail about the different types of products and services a bank has to offer, as well as interest rates and how a higher credit score helps you with a future account or loan. Additionally, to know how much money is in your account is important for balancing your checkbook and personal savings plans.

How has this helped you outside the classroom?

I have never had my own bank account before, so outside of the classroom it has helped me save my money and to think about what things I need and want. I also know that once I have more than just a bank account I will want to put more of my money into mutual funds to help grow my money. I think bonds are something I’m going to invest in as well.

Any advice you would like to give to younger elementary students?

One thing I would say to elementary students is to start saving your money at a young age. Start getting into that habit now because it will help you in the future. The brand new item you want right now might seem like a need, but you won’t remember it in two or three years.

What are your future plans?

Once I complete high school I want to go to a four year college most likely in the Midwest to get a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Then, I will want to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Anything you would like to add?

I have enjoyed everything I have done so far. TS Bank and others have taught me so much about banking than I thought I would ever learn.


Brady Coffman, Junior at Treynor High School

brady coffman headshot

What was your first experience with TS Bank and financial literacy?

In second grade I began depositing money into my bank account through TS Bank and the in-school banking program. The first time I heard of the stock market game was when I was in third grade, but at that point it was only available to fourth and fifth grade students.

How has the stock market game helped you on your financial journey?

After hearing about the stock market game, I talked to my dad about it. He helped me learn some of the basics. The stock market game helped develop my initial interest in finance and about owning stocks and how trading works!

Could you tell us more about your student banker experience as well?

Yes, I remember preparing for an interview, and it introduced me to what a job interview experience was like. I also remember being a student banker as a fifth grader with the various jobs of being a runner to walk younger kids to the bank area, as well as serving as a banker where I added student deposits and assisted with their balances. It was a fun learning experience.

Since being in the investing class from fourth grade, what else have you learned over the years?

I have continually added to my knowledge of investing. A lot of people are unaware that kids can also have Roth IRA accounts! My parents helped me open an online account to invest in a custodial Roth IRA and am so thankful. Money I earned could be invested in a Roth from now until I am 59½, and I learned that each thousand dollars I invest now will become $32,000 using the rule of 72 given with a seven percent return each year. Additionally, there are websites that offer free trades and under the supervision of my parents I'm able to invest. I use this account more for short-term trades and experiment with different trading strategies.

Any favorite memories with financial literacy school programs?

My favorite memory with the stock market game was in fourth grade when my team placed first in our age group for the state, and we got to go on a trip to Dordt College to give a short presentation about our trading strategy! My favorite memory from being a student banker and depositing money in my bank account was getting fun prizes and going to the Amazing Pizza Machine at the end of the year!


What is something you have learned because of these programs?

From the very beginning I learned that I should divide my money between different categories such as save, spend and share and similar categories. This was important because as a child when you come in contact with money your first instinct is to spend it.

How has financial literacy helped you outside the classroom?

These programs helped me learn I do not want to live paycheck to paycheck as an adult and how I can grow my wealth without even touching it.

Any advice you would give to younger elementary students?

Kids can learn about any topic or job they may be interested in! If they are interested in something, they should always explore it further whether it's through reading, podcasts or even watching YouTube videos. It's important to always be learning. This can help in high school and college as they will now have a better understanding of what they may be interested in for a career.

What are your future plans?

I plan to attend the University of Iowa and study finance as well as potentially earn a master’s degree in finance and business analytics. I have not decided on a specific job after graduation, but I know I enjoy finance and while at college I can further decide that path.

On another note, I have recently started my own website design business. I have been studying web design on the learning app, Skillshare. My goal is to help small businesses develop their own website and social media presence. My generation uses social media not only for entertainment, but also makes decisions based on what we see there. Small businesses could benefit from my services because they can increase their internet exposure to attract new customers and to showcase what makes them unique. I'm able to provide personalized customer service experience for a fraction of the cost. I have worked with two companies so far and look forward to building more relationships that will allow me to build my business over the next few years.

Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank TS Bank for helping the students of Treynor learn more about financial literacy and banking. The Guttau family has shown how one generous business can play such an important role in their community.

To learn more about TS Bank's financial literacy efforts, visit this page

At TS Bank, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Bank. TS Bank has eight locations in central and southwest Iowa. For more information visit or call 844-487-3030. #igniteprosperity

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