Shelton State and UA’s HomeFirst Team Up for Personal Finance 101

by Sophia Xiong
CCBP Graduate Assistant

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – On September 14, students at Shelton State Community College benefited from a basic financial planning class dubbed “Financial Planning 101,” courtesy of the University of Alabama’s (UA) HomeFirst team. This collaborative effort between UA’s HomeFirst and Shelton State’s Collegiate 100 yielded valuable financial education for the students.

James Renshaw, program coordinator for programs and partnerships for community engagement, delivered the Financial Planning 101 lecture to the students. Renshaw covered topics such as budgeting, banking accounts, credit score, and homeownership.

“I coordinate HomeFirst and work with several Shelton State Collegiate 100 members as they volunteer with our program,” Renshaw said. “Shelton State and Collegiate 100® created this idea of a Personal Finance 101 event and approached me to represent HomeFirst. The planning started earlier this year, and this marked the first time Shelton and Collegiate 100® jointly hosted this event.”

Collegiate 100® is a student organization with a primary mission to facilitate one-on-one and group mentoring by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.® Chapters to students transitioning from high school to college. Their initiatives encompass economic empowerment, leadership development, health/wellness and mentoring.

Toya Carter, media specialist and Collegiate 100® advisor at Shelton State, emphasized, “Economic empowerment is one of Collegiate 100’s initiatives, and we are partner with UA’s HomeFirst. So, we believed this event would be a valuable opportunity for students to learn different personal financial topics that are important to them.”

To promote the event, Carter and her team put information on social media, reached out to faculty and sent information to their student ambassador.

Josie Cox, student retention coordinator and Collegiate 100® advisor at Shelton State, discussed the common concerns students have about finance. “Our Collegiate 100® students took note of these concerns by collaborating with organizations such as UA’s HomeFirst.”

Carter said stronger knowledge of personal finance was one of the biggest things she wanted the students to get out of the event so they could take what they learned and apply it to their personal lives, for example by creating a budget.

“While this is the first event we host, we also conduct success seminars and provide a career resource department to support student achievement,” she said. She went on to share that Renshaw and Dr. Nicole Prewitt, director of programs and partnerships for community engagement, have helped tailor the program to fit into Shelton’s student dynamics and have provided suggestions on how to make the event better.

Rachel Cobia, accounting and personal finance instructor at Shelton State Community College, emphasized, “Personal finance matters to everyone, both in the present and for their future. I hope my students can get ahead by planning their future before their big life decisions are made. I sat with many of my students and I can tell they all enjoyed it. I hope it will continue.”