Pen Air presents UWF students with free financial literacy program

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Tim O’Keefe.
Photo courtesy of uwf.edu

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

Pen Air Federal Credit Union presented one of its bi-annual financial boot camps to students in the College of Business on Wednesday.

The financial literacy course, sponsored by The University of West Florida College of Business Executive Mentor Program, detailed ways that students can begin saving for retirement. In past semesters, presentations have included proper ways to budget and how to manage credit.

Students that RSVP’d to the event received a complimentary lunch and a presentation informational packet.

Dean of the College of Business, Timothy O’Keefe, welcomed the students and introduced the speakers for the event.

Pen Air is a big supporter of UWF and the College of Business, and their partnership with UWF has allowed the College of Business to meet a couple of goals.

“They are giving us a chance to give financial literacy programs with the objective of teaching our current students to make good financial decisions while still attending college,” O’Keefe said.

These literacy programs are aimed at making sure that students have a head start in making sound financial decisions once they obtain a degree.

Pen Air also provides financial support towards education for College of Business students through an endowed scholarship with the UWF Foundation, Inc.

The financial boot camps are led by employees of Pen Air. The credit union creates, preps, and presents all of the presentations for these workshops.

Pen Air President and CEO Stewart Ramsey also spoke to students. In his opening remarks, he shared with workshop attendees the difference between a bank and a credit union, and why knowing the difference is important.

“Members of the credit unions are not just members, they are also part owners,” Ramsey said. “Some financial institutions don’t like us very much because we are a cooperative and aren’t subject to federal income tax.”

Because members who keep a minimum balance of $25 in their account are technically owners of the credit union, they also get to participate in voting when various offices open within the board of directors. In this way, members can help set a direction for the institution.

Pen Air Investment Specialist John Heckmann presented, “How to Save for Retirement.” In his presentation, Heckmann instructed workshop participants on how to properly plan for their retirement. He also addressed and disproved many financial myths, such as “college students are too young to have to plan for retirement” and “in order to save, students should have a serious job or be debt-free.”

To find out more about UWF’s Executive Mentor Program, visit their website, or contact them at executivementor@uwf.edu or 474-3239.