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Student-run bank opens at Reginald F. Lewis

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 “I get to open up my own savings account and checking account and I’m very excited about that,” says Camille, a sophomore at Reginald F. Lewis High School.

Camille will not only be a customer at the school’s new bank, but a teller too. The bank will be completely run by students who will also work as managers and greeters. MECU, a credit union based in Baltimore, stepped in to help make the bank possible and part of the business and law school’s curriculum.

“I want to get involved with this program because I think it’s a good way for students, like me, and other students, to be successful in life. Plus, it’s an internship and it would look good on my transcript and resumé,” says Earl, a senior at the school.

“I like that you learn, and that you know how to deal with money, and you know how to take care of money, you learn how to save and you learn how to just be a young adult, and it prepares you for the real world,” adds Camille.

In addition to financial management, students will learn many other important lessons. “We’re learning people skills, mostly, and learning how to work with others,” says Jeffrey, a sophomore teller at the bank.

Dr. Barney Wilson, the principal of the school, hosts a ceremony in the library to introduce the new branch of MECU. Joining him are teachers, students, staff, bank representatives, and members of the community. W.E.B. DuBois High School, which is also on the campus, will be able to access the bank too.

“This school is a school that’s on the move. All of our indicators are spiraling upwards and we do it all in the great name of Reginald F. Lewis,” says Dr. Wilson, proud of the new program.

“MECU is in support of the Baltimore City school system and the education of our youth, and we appreciate the opportunity for us to have a location that will add to that education,” says Bert Hash Jr., the president and CEO of MECU.

Carolyn Fugett, Reginald F. Lewis’s mother, attended the ceremony and also spoke to the crowd. “Be educated and climb that mountain, and get to where you need to go. This is what we’re all about. We have to work together. We’re community. We have to put our personal challenges of what we want aside and work together.”

At the end of the ceremony, everyone gathered in the hallway outside the bank to celebrate with a ribbon cutting and big cheers.