Seminar provides fiscal skills

In an effort to teach students about fiscal responsibility, the Department of Economic Development hosted Wild Fire Financial Series, “True Life: I’m Living on a College Student Budget” Wednesday evening.

Florida A&M University’s Student Government Association held the seminar in conjunction with The Omega Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Inc., and the FAMU Chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Betsheell Metayer, 22, a senior accounting student from Miami and the activities coordinator for AKPsi, said the seminar focused on educating students about money management skills.

The panel included: Sherwood Brown, a financial specialist for Wachovia and 1989 FAMU graduate, Quinton Stroud, 20, a junior health science major and The Famuan’s Student Budget Challenger, Tiffany Bain, 19, a sophomore business administration major and member of AKPsi, and Christopher Pink an investment banker with The Hartford Bank.

Metayer said she hoped students benefitted from the seminar.

“We hope that students will learn more about budgeting, especially the way the economy is looking,” Metayer said.

Matthew Hillman, 19, a junior economics student from Orlando and deputy secretary of economic development for SGA said, “It’s a part of our constitutional duty to expose the student body to programs that teach them about the basic principles of saving and investing.”

The seminar started with a video produced by the department entitled, “The Financial Matrix,” a spoof on “The Matrix” trilogy showing students how to combat financial temptations.

“It was so funny,” said Dallas Gibson, 20, a junior economics major from Washington, D.C. “It was a great way to get our attention because sometimes talking about money can be really uplifting or really depressing; the video definitely broke the tension…my tension anyway,” said Gibson.

Along with hearing colorful commentary from the panel describing legal “hustles” and using a Crock Pot to heat a room during the winter in order to offset the rising cost of utilities, the seminar was a hit for most that attended.

Ashley Kilgoe, 19, a junior nursing student from Dover, Del. Said the seminar was very informative.

“They gave great information and brokedown complex terms and conditions that are associated with the economy,” Kilgoe said.

Attendants also received a Wild Fire Financial Series Guide that included tips on budgeting, investing, financial aid, and student discounts offered in Tallahassee.

Though the event gained great reviews from the 50 attendants, the department felt the program was bittersweet.

“We have some great programming in store for the student body; we just hope they come out in larger numbers next time,” Hillman said.

The next Wild Fire Financial Seminar is “The Government and Your Money.” It will be held on Oct. 15 in the SJGC Lecture Hall at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Matthew Hillman at