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HOC is located at 2276 Randolph Avenue in Elkins. / Photo courtesy HomeOwnership Center

Preparing seniors for the future: HomeOwnership Center brings financial literacy classes to B-UHS

TENNERTON – The HomeOwnership Center partnered with Buckhannon-Upshur High School to offer comprehensive finance presentations to prepare high school seniors for the real world.

Chris Vance, mortgage loan originator at the HomeOwnership Center, Inc. in Elkins, explained the organization’s mission and what it hopes to accomplish with the classes, which were held at B-UHS earlier this month.

“The HomeOwnership Center is a nonprofit organization working to promote financial stability and support successful homeowners,” Vance said. “We offer credit counseling, advising and lending services.”

“We are currently serving several counties, including Randolph, Upshur, Lewis, Barbour, Tucker, Webster, and Pendleton, but the organization is expanding its reach to include Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, and Preston Counties,” Vance added.

HomeOwnership Center staff believe the sooner students begin to learn about finances, the better.

“I think that early exposure to financial management and common banking practices will set students on a path to success, helping them avoid pitfalls that can impact credit and personal finances negatively,” Vance said. “The classes cover a range of topics, including banking, credit, lending, budgeting, student and car loans, and insights into the process of moving into one’s first home, as well as information on investments.”

These financial literacy presentations are not a novelty for the HomeOwnership Center, which has delivered informational sessions on financial literacy to students at Elkins High School, Tucker County High School, Tygarts Valley High School and Philip Barbour High School.

“We present the topics of banking, credit, lending, budgeting, student and car loans, moving into your first home, as well as information on investments,” Vance added.

The impact of these classes on students has been notable. According to Vance, students are highly engaged, asking numerous questions, and expressing genuine interest in understanding how finances work.

“They are being empowered to go out into the world with real knowledge of how finances work and how to get started,” Vance said.

Robert Carr, a Social Studies teacher at B-UHS, emphasized the significance of the HomeOwnership Center’s financial education outreach program.

“We set up time for them to work with our senior students in Civics to help prepare them to be financially secure now and in the future as they graduate and go off into the real world,” Carr explained. “The classes focus on improving credit, budgeting, prioritizing needs over wants, and cultivating saving habits.”

Teachers interested in bringing these classes to their students can reach out to Chris Vance at cvance@hocwv.org. For those seeking homeownership help or credit counseling services, Jami Carpenter can be contacted at jcarpenter@hocwv.org, or individuals can visit the HomeOwnership Center’s website at www.hocwv.org or call its office at 304-636-9115.

The initiative aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complex world of finance successfully.

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