Shadyma White

SFEPD Student Ambassador
South Carolina State University
Hometown: Orangeburg, SC

Growing up, what kind of relationship did you have with money?

Growing up, my relationship with money wasn’t good at all. I didn’t have a strong understanding of its value or how to manage it responsibly. This lack of financial literacy led to challenges in budgeting, saving, and making informed decisions about spending and saving. Over time, I realized the importance of improving my financial knowledge and skills to build a more secure financial future.

What was it like to serve as an SFEPD Student Ambassador teaching your peers about personal finance, and what did you learn about yourself from this experience?

Serving as an SFEPD Student Ambassador teaching peers about personal finance was both rewarding and enlightening. It gave me a platform to share knowledge while also learning from others’ perspectives and questions. I learned that many students share similar concerns about managing money and planning for the future. It highlighted the importance of financial literacy at a young age and the impact it can have on one’s life. What I enjoyed the most was seeing my peers become more confident and empowered as they gained financial knowledge. It was fulfilling to know that I was making a difference in their lives by equipping them with essential skills for financial independence. Additionally, teaching reinforced my own understanding of personal finance concepts, deepening my commitment to managing my finances wisely.

What are the major benefits of students learning personal finance skills through seminars and classes during their college years?

1. Building a strong credit history early.

2. Understanding the importance of saving and investing.

3. Learning to create and maintain a budget tailored to personal goals.

4. Developing critical thinking skills to evaluate financial products and services.

5. Gaining confidence in managing money independently.

When should students start learning basic concepts about personal finance (in elementary, middle school, high school, or college) and why?

Young people should start learning basic concepts about personal finance in middle school. At this age, they begin to have a better understanding of money and its value, setting a foundation for responsible financial habits before entering high school and adulthood.

If you could share one financial tip with college students, what would it be?

Always create and stick to a budget to track your expenses and prioritize savings.

As a result of your Student Ambassador experience, what key lessons did you learn to help you manage your money better and is planning for your financial future an important goal after college?

As a Student Ambassador, I learned the importance of budgeting and prioritizing expenses. It taught me to distinguish between needs and wants, helping me manage my money more effectively now. Planning for my financial future is definitely a priority after graduation, ensuring stability and achieving long-term goals with working at Toyota.

How did serving as a Student Ambassador help you prepare for your future and your career goals?

My career goal is to continue advancing in the field of artificial intelligence research and development. Serving as a Student Ambassador honed my communication and leadership skills, while being an SFEPD Student Assistant provided valuable experience in project management and teamwork.

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