On November 18, 2023, the Saunders Science Scholars welcomed program funders, Steve and Addie Butts, to Gates County! This was not a normal visit, as Mr. Butts had an important message to deliver to program participants through “Personal Finance with Steve.” The workshop focused on financial literacy and provided information relevant to the masses.

Financial literacy refers to the knowledge and skills that enable individuals to make informed and effective financial decisions. It encompasses understanding various financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving, investing, debt management, and financial planning. In today’s complex and interconnected world, financial literacy has become increasingly important in empowering individuals to take control of their finances and secure a stable financial future.

One demographic that greatly benefits from financial literacy education is high school students. High school is a critical time in a person’s life where they are transitioning into adulthood and beginning to assume greater responsibility for their financial choices. By equipping students with the necessary knowledge and skills, they can develop healthy financial habits early on and make informed decisions that will positively impact their lives.

Mr. Butts started his session with an icebreaker, where students shared their name, favorite subject, what they wanted to be when they grew up in elementary school, and what would they do if they had $5,000 to spend in seven days. As expected, the answers were interesting, to say the least.

The focus then shifted to the agenda of the workshop: Defining Financial Success, Net Worth, Saving, Spending Plan, and Debt and Credit Score. The following are some key points from the presentation:

  • True Financial Success is more than outward prosperity and has less to do with dollar signs than it does with how money affects your life and your relationships.
  • Having your financial life in order can give you control of your money, increase the likelihood of achieving financial goals, decrease stress, increase harmony at home, and be a source of confidence and satisfaction.
  • Assets minus Liabilities equals “Your TRUE Financial Situation”
  • Sacrifice some spending when young so you can spend in the future.
  • Create a spending plan.
  • The “cost” of poor credit is steep.

Truist Wealth’s Center for Family Legacy provided content for the presentation. The information presented was general in nature and did not specifically address individual investment objectives, financial situations, or the needs of any specific person.

“First, we would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Butts. They are amazing individuals who are the conceivers and benefactors of the Saunders Science Scholars program,” stated Benjamin Saunders, Jr., Director, Gates County Community Partnership. “Steve could have used anyone to do this presentation but chose to do it himself, as he is committed to an intimate relationship with our kids and their families.”

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s Saunders Science Scholars Program is a unique partnership with Gates County Schools and Gates County Community Partnership, where students discover science in new and exciting ways through hands-on exploration and new enrichment opportunities. The program provides resources and events to the Gates County Schools community, in particular high school students and their families.