With Lots Of Interest, High School Students In El Monte Start Their Own Bank

EL MONTE (CBSLA.com)  —  It’s never too early to teach kids the value of money.

To that end, some students in El Monte are already in the banking industry — they started their own bank.

CBS2’s Amy Johnson went to the school to find out how it all began.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Marquez. Welcome to Union Bank. How may I help you today?” says high school senior David Godinez.

Jose Marquez makes a typical bank deposit at Union Bank, but this time he’s using the branch at Mountain View High School in El Monte where he’s the assistant principal and the bank teller is a high school senior.

“In the future, I want to attend a four-year college and I want to study business management,” says Godinez. “I felt like this would be the perfect fit. I figured I would take advantage of this while I have it.”

The high school branch is just like any other Union Bank operation. It’s part of a program designed to help students with real world financial education and work experience.

“Union Bank came up with this program,to not only to help the ten students that are n the program, but to help the entire school. So students are leaving high school now with some financial knowledge,” says bank branch manager Anthony Barrios.

There are ten bank tellers selected from dozens that applied- – they’ll share what they learn with their classmates.

“I knew it would be a great investment towards my future, and a beneficial learning experience. It would also offer me professional experience I could not have gained anywhere else,” said student Giselle Barbosa.

The students who work in the bank don’t actually get paid — it’s considered an internship- but there is some financial incentive.

“After the training they get for two weeks,” says Barrios, “they get a $500 stipend and when they finish the program, at the end of the year, they get a $1,000 scholarship for college,” says Barrios.

This is the fifth Union Bank branch to open on a high school campus in five  years. They held a special celebration.

“We saw it as an opportunity for our children to learn and grow,” said Marquez.

The bank is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and plans are already underway for the next campus in Oakland,

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