Competition promotes financial literacy

Teams from each Brownsville Independent School District high school on Wednesday recorded financial literacy videos for a competition sponsored by the Building Financial Capacity Coalition and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville.

The competition is part of Vela’a Financial Education Summit for this year and offers cash prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500 for the top three finishers, said Bertha Garza, BFCC executive director. The coalition’s mission is to foster community prosperity by enhancing the knowledge and skills Rio Grande Valley families need to improve their financial decision making.

Each team was assigned a topic to further that mission and to empower high school students and graduates to make smart financial decisions, Garza said. Similar competitions are taking place in other Cameron County school districts.

“It’s lifetime training,” Garza said, adding that the videos empower students to share financial knowledge with each other and the community. “We feel we’ll reach more students when students are teaching each other and we showcase what they’ve done,” she said.

Mayra Pena, Katherine Rodriguez and Madeline Cervantes from Lopez Early College High School presented a video titled “COVID-19 vs The World … We’ve Come a Long Way, BABY” as a crew from KBSD-TV recorded the presentation.

The young women said they’ve been working on the project since the beginning of the semester in January.

“Our main objective was for people who see the video to realize what’s been happening and to comprehend the facts of COVID-19 around the word,” Rodriguez said.

“I think when people realize the facts about COVID they’ll be more appreciative of what we have here in Brownsville,” Cervantes added.

She said the project had opened their eyes about the impact of the virus from both a health and financial perspective.

Lopez business teacher Ricardo Leal said that was the point of the project: to open the students’ eyes, and those of their audience, to the financial, as well as health impacts of COVID-19.

The entries will be judged by a team of business and financial professionals in early May.