CORVALLIS, Ore. – Students in the Oregon State University chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) are partnering with the Corvallis school district to teach financial literacy courses to high school students at Harding Center, an alternative education facility.

With topics ranging from financial planning to business ethics, the courses are being taught Fridays now through June 5.

Andrea White, the financial strategic initiative leader of SIFE, will be one of three OSU students delivering financial literacy courses at the high school. As a business administration major, White said understanding finance fundamentals can help students plan for the future.

“We’re hoping that given the current economic situation, everybody will realize financial literacy is not just a luxury, but something necessary to avoid getting ourselves in this mess again,” she said. “We are looking forward to educating students who may otherwise struggle with financial planning and management.”

Harding Center educators are equally excited about introducing finance concepts to high school students. “We’re always trying to interest our students in pursuing college,” said Sally McAfee, the coordinator of alternative education at Harding Center. “Our interest is helping students develop the proper skills to become successful in life, and part of that means understanding personal finance and money.”

SIFE students will use approved standardized curriculum and deliver the training under the supervision of Anissa Arthenayake, the director of community education at OSU Federal Credit Union, and Sandy Neubaum, the associate director of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

For Arthenayake, supporting financial literacy education allows OSU Federal Credit Union to invest in the community and help students acquire critical professional skills.

Neubaum said the outreach project complements the mission of SIFE, an international non-profit organization and the Austin Entrepreneurship Program’s social entrepreneurship initiative. Projects focus on concepts like market economics, entrepreneurship, and business ethics through educational outreach projects.

“Part of my role as an educator is to ensure that college students have the necessary tools and experiences to impact change within their community. SIFE and Austin Entrepreneurship Program projects, such as the one with the Harding Center, demonstrate how collaborative efforts can positively impact the lives of young people,” Neubaum said.

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Sandy Neubaum