Financial literacy facility opens to students, community

Erica Santiago/Staff Writer


In partnership with Suntrust Bank, FIU’s College of Business opened the Suntrust FIU Financial Wellness Clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to promote financial literacy and stability to the the FIU community, as well as high schoolers and parents.

The Financial Wellness Clinic, located on the second floor of the Management and New Growth Opportunity building at the Modesto Maidique Campus, will teach University students, parents and high schoolers how to spend, save, borrow and invest responsibly, according to the Clinic’s business plan provided to Student Media by faculty behind the project.

“With financial literacy, students are exposed to financial planning, they’re exposed to retirement planning, they’re exposed to many different subject matters,” said Flavio Carrillo, faculty administrator and director of the Capital Markets Lab at the College of Business.

According to Carrillo, the new clinic will not only provide a breadth of knowledge but also a deeper understanding of financial stability.

“We believe that in doing so, we are empowering these students to make a difference in their respective communities and fulfilling their lifelong endeavors as well,” he said.

According to the business plan, the partnership between SunTrust and the College of Business will provide workshops and lectures spanning a variety of topics having to do with personal finance issues affecting college students, high schoolers and their parents.

The project was made possible by a $600,000 grant from the SunTrust Foundation to the College of Business, according to the business plan.

The clinic is equipped with eight collaborative huddle desks to encourage interactive participation as well as four Bloomberg Terminals that allow users to analyze real-time financial market data. Other features include instructor desks equipped with the up-to-date educational technologies.

“The SunTrust FIU Wellness Clinic generates cross-discipline teams of exceptional teachers, innovators, scholars, and students who create new disruptive models of technology-assisted learning … to engage students on a deeper level,” the plan reads.

David Gomez, a senior majoring in finance lent his experience to the project, having served a student instructor for financial literacy programs to local high school students.

“It is very tempting, with the first paycheck you get, to try to spend it on something that you haven’t been able to purchase before,” he said.
Learning how interest rates and credit work, how to budget and manage money are important fundamentals for parents, university and high school students to learn, says Gomez.

“We plan to make sure that we service everyone who comes here and is part of this project,” said Carrillo. “We have a unique mandate [at FIU]. We are a public institution and we have to make sure that we take care of our community. We intend to do that.”

The Clinic opened with a ribbon cutting followed by a mixer held within the new facility, allowing for business students to network with SunTrust professionals and others in the finance industry.


Image by Eduardo Merielle, retrieved from Flickr:

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