Mondays with Maria: Addition Financial - High School Branch Program
Posted on 02/12/2024
Mondays with Maria Banner



Announcer: Welcome to Mondays with Maria, presented by Addition Financial Credit Union. Here's OCPS Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Hello everyone. We are on the road again and this time our travels have taken us to Colonial High School. Jamie Holmes is with me again, but this time no school lunch.

Jamie Holmes: The cafeteria is right over there. We can go there now if we try.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: We are here to talk about a unique program OCPS offers in partnership with Addition Financial, and that is our high school branch program. It helps our students get behind the scenes with real banking

Jamie Holmes: And that is critical, particularly since the state now they require this one half credit, right, for students for financial literacy, money management skills.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes. That started this year in ninth grade. And so the opportunity to have a branch on campus where you are learning the financial basics is a very unique experience for our students.

Jamie Holmes: And it's critical too. I mean, financial literacy skills are the building blocks of everything you're going to do, in getting a car or a loan or surviving life.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes. Savings, money management. And our children are able to get that right here at Colonial High School.

Jamie Holmes: And I got a behind the scenes look at one of the branches. Take a look for yourself.

Jaycie: This is a credit union located right in our school near the front office and it allows essentially student members to come in and make transactions or even open new member accounts right at the convenience of their own campus.

Logan: I come here every day. This is one of my class periods actually. It takes over counts as an elective credit. People come in here all the time, perform transactions, and we get to learn about the banking world and being in an actual job while we do their transactions.

Jaycie: We're technically open from fourth period to seventh period. And during this time, students and faculty and staff can essentially come in and we handle and process real transactions. I'm really fast with counting money now. I've developed many skills and strategies to quickly count money. And I think it's great honestly, because one aspect that we have here in the branch is monthly professional developments. And here a person from High School Branch would come and teach us many practical things like how to build a resume, how to go through interviews, how to be professional in a workplace setting. So, this essentially preps us for the real world.

Logan: You basically get to learn everything on your own, all the skills that you're being taught on your own, how to work in an actual workplace by yourself.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Taylor Kowalczyk from Addition Financial is also with us today. You are the manager for the High School Branches, correct?

Taylor Kowalczyk: I am.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: So would you tell us a little bit about how this came about and remind us where the branches are located in our high schools?

Taylor Kowalczyk: Of course. Thank you, Dr. Vazquez. We started our program at the Addition Financial back in 2008 at Timber Creek High School. We also have locations at Boone, Ocoee, Oak Ridge, Edgewater, and of course here at Colonial High School. So we really believe on hands-on financial education with our students. And what's more hands-on than having an actual Addition Financial location on campus?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I agree.

Jamie Holmes: And these students, they're actually getting paid.

Taylor Kowalczyk: They are. So some most here actually get school credit and there are a couple paid head teller positions, but of course there are other paid opportunities. Like a summer internship with us. We even have Saturday teller assistants at our regular full service branches. And of course at graduation, they do have the option to apply with us.

Jamie Holmes: Sounds like a win-win. Can I take out a loan?

Taylor Kowalczyk: Not here. But we can definitely help you with that.

Jamie Holmes: Oh, I'm sure.

Taylor Kowalczyk: Thank you, thanks.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Thank you both for being here as we highlight another unique program that makes Orange County Public Schools great.

Taylor Kowalczyk: Thank you.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Thank you for watching, and I will see you next week On Mondays with Maria

Announcer: Mondays with Maria is presented by Addition Financial Credit Union. Count us in for every step of your financial journey. Learn more at For more OCPS news and information, visit I'm your announcer, Deivarsi Demezier, a senior at Apopka High School. Thanks for watching and have a great week.