The Auburn High School branch offers a safe training ground for its banking students, with minimal risks, as the branch is not open to the public. Students provide customer service to school personnel and fellow students, while they gain valuable banking experience. They complete the class with practical knowledge and job skills that will serve them well wherever they go. They learn how to dress appropriately and how to interview, continually building confidence as they learn. The banking class is empowering for its students!
In addition to the structured curriculum, high school banking students learn professionalism, customer service, confidentiality and self-discipline. They complete the class prepared to go to work in any bank, as they learn Federal and State regulations that apply across the industry – rules that must be followed when they wait on their friends and teachers at the AHS branch. They get their training in a real branch of a real bank, using real money – and they earn academic credit. Role playing is a big part of the training. Students are occasionally given “fake fraud” transactions to heighten their awareness of potential scams and test their knowledge of regulations. They are accountable for the money, and the drawers need to balance at the end of the day, so the students need to study every transaction carefully, even if they know the customer.
For some students, this class is their first exposure to managing their own money and saving any portion of it. As part of their financial literacy training, they are taught to create a budget, balance a checkbook and put money aside for that inevitable “rainy day.” The banking students are learning a lot of things that their friends – and even their parents – may not know about banking and money management.
Often, students take the banking class because it’s different than anything else the high school has to offer, and they’re curious. But once they start working on the teller line, many of them find that they have a genuine interest and continue their studies in Finance beyond the high school level. Bay State Savings Bank also offers employment opportunities for qualified students. Each year the Bank hires several tellers from the high school banking class to work part-time in its branch locations.
While there are numerous benefits to participating in the banking class at Auburn High School, there is one in particular that is very special. Each year Bay State Savings Bank presents the Elizabeth Roy Memorial Scholarship for $500 to the banking student with the highest GPA. Elizabeth Roy was an Auburn High School banking student and part-time teller at Bay State Savings Bank, who passed away while she was employed by the Bank. The scholarship was started by the Bank to honor her memory. Bay State Savings Bank’s branch at Auburn High School has been operating for nearly 20 years. During that time, an average of 25 students per year successfully complete the banking class… and there is usually a waiting list to enroll.