Honors program receives grant

The University Honors Program was recently awarded a $41,717 educational grant from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.

The Honors Program received the funds on Feb. 23 at State Farm’s grant opening ceremony. 

The grant was awarded to teach local students about financial literacy.  The honors program will offer financial workshops to students that attend FAMU-Developmental Research School, Nims Middle School and local elementary schools.

Je’laune Walton, 19, a sophomore pharmacy student, from Fairfield, Ala., said Ruth Sanders, co-advisor for the Honors Program, brought the opportunity to her.

“Ms. Sanders held a meeting, where she brought the grant to our attention, and asked for volunteers,” said Walton.

Walton said the process has just begun.

“We must first get permission from principal[s] and then find a way to get the students interested,” Walton said. “I believe the summer will be our biggest challenge.”  

Members of the Honors Program will teach students about the importance of understanding finances and managing personal financial affairs through service-learning, hands-on activities, field trips, and financial seminars.  Events will occur on a monthly basis where financial professionals discuss a new topic each month. State Farm’s focus area included disaster preparedness, environmental responsibility, teen driver safety, higher education, closing the achievement gap, and financial education.

The Honors Program wrote a grant proposal on financial education because it was an important issue for all of them.

“Finance is something that is near and dear to me, and being a minority we don’t usually get any type of foundation in personal finances as well as investing from our parents or schools,” said Academic Advisement chair Tanisha Swaby, 20, a junior business administration from Orlando.
    To get the students interested in the program the students plan to make the program exciting.     “A portion of the amount awarded go toward field trips, and other activities that will keep students interested and involved,” said the community service co-chair of the honor student association, Stedman Lee, 20, a sophomore pharmacy student from Conyers, Ga. The honors students have been brainstorming topic ideas. 
“We have put together a tentative calendar to plan out the various financial topics for each month along with the different activities to coincide with each topic,” said community service chair of the honor student association, Jasmine Weiss, 19, a sophomore biology pre-medicine student from Charlotte, North Carolina.
    The State Farm Youth Advisory Board awarded the grant to the honors program.  The advisory board is a diverse group of 30 youth, ages 18-20, chosen through a competitive process to oversee the distribution of $5 million under State Farm’s service-learning initiative.