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Teens on the autism spectrum gain financial confidence

GCF Aspect Hunter School.jpgFor the second year running, students on the autism spectrum at
Aspect Hunter School in Thornton have received a tailored financial literacy program through Greater Bank Finance Academy, helping them to learn more about money and banking.
Greater Bank Finance Academy delivers a free financial literacy outreach program to high school students across the Hunter, Central Coast, the Central West and Northern regions of NSW.
Supported through Aspect Hunter School’s partnership with the Greater Charitable Foundation, the program taught at Aspect features bespoke content that better meets the specific needs of the estimated one in 70 Australians who are on the autism spectrum.
Jess Wilkinson, a teacher at Aspect Hunter School, said the content taught is of real value to the students.
“The program is really engaging, with hands-on activities as well as exploring relevant financial scenarios that help students learn important skills around budgeting and saving now and for the future – it is very relevant,” said Ms Wilkinson.
Nick Van Baal, a Finance Academy Ambassador, said Aspect is one of the schools he looks forward to presenting at the most.
“I am lucky to have run two sessions in the last couple of years at Aspect,” said Mr Van Baal.
“The class is always very positive and interactive, plus the students have plenty to contribute which makes the lesson extra enjoyable.
“It is the perfect age bracket to present to – a few of the students have already got their first part-time work, others are talking about life after school and earning money, some even have savings goals in place for buying their first cars!
“The topics we cover help everyone be more confident in relating goals to budget, understanding financial specifics such as credit, effects of interest rates, and avoiding common mistakes when it comes to financial decisions.”
Anne Long, Chief Executive Officer of Greater Charitable Foundation, said the program was helping Aspect’s students to tackle the challenges of transitioning from high school to the workforce.
“Adolescence can be a tricky time for anyone, so making sure the content of the program speaks to the students at Aspect Hunter School and their life experience is so important,” said Ms Long.
“We want to make sure that Aspect students have an informative and engaging financial literacy experience.
“Not only are the sessions helpful for the students, they’re also really rewarding for our Ambassadors, who are so passionate about delivering the program and teaching young people these skills – which really are skills for life.”
Greater Charitable Foundation has a long and proud history with Aspect, dating back more than a decade to 2011, during which time the Foundation has provided over $1 million in funding.
The financial literacy program is a Greater Bank initiative that has been adapted as additional support for the Greater Charitable Foundation’s partnership with Aspect. The $330,000 partnership delivers a Work Education and Employment Skills Program that provides specialised autism-specific support to assist high school students transition from
school to employment.

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