Once students in Northern Nevada graduate from high school, many will face some very adult financial decisions that could have long-term ramifications on their credit scores, their ability to obtain a mortgage, and many other aspects of their lives.

Unfortunately, some students are unprepared for these types of critical —and increasingly complex— financial decisions.  Not all students will receive the in-depth — or accurate —financial literacy information at home. That’s why First Independent Bank felt it was essential to support hundreds of students in the region by providing access to the First Independent Bank Financial Cents Program.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, First Independent Bank began working with EVERFI, the nation’s leading educational technology company, to provide financial literacy lessons to several elementary and high schools in Northern Nevada at no cost to the students or the schools. All of the schools participating in the program are Title 1 schools, meaning the majority of students come from lower income households.

The Financial Cents Program provides teachers with the tools to promote financial literacy lessons and discussions in their classrooms. Students can progress at their own pace through 10 different literacy areas, with each providing real-life scenarios that help students understand the financial decisions ahead. In total, the Financial Cents Program offers six hours of instruction and covers topics that include credit scores, insurance policies, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, and 401ks.

Recently, students at Hug High School began the 10-unit Financial Cents Program, which included a classroom discussion between students, the instructor, and volunteers from First Independent Bank, including Regional President Jim DeVolld.

“I’ve seen so many kids in college that run up a credit card debt, and they often don’t know how to get out of it,” said DeVolld. “I think the value of what we are providing through the Financial Cents Program are the skills to avoid many of the financial mistakes that numerous students end up making.”    

Northern Nevada schools that utilized the First Independent Bank Financial Cents Program during the previous school year or plan to during the current school year include Hug and Sparks High Schools, Agnes Risley, Alice L. Smith, Alice Maxwell, Bernice Mathews, Echo Loder, Edwin S. Dodson, Glenn Duncan, and Rita Cannan Elementary Schools.

About Us

First Independent Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, helps business clients realize their ambitions. Founded in 1999, First Independent Bank offers a full spectrum of loan, deposit and treasury management capabilities, plus superior service. With six offices in Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Fallon, along with Western Alliance Bank’s powerful array of specialized financial services, the banking division is a valued resource for Northern Nevada’s business, real estate, professional, manufacturing, municipal and nonprofit communities. Western Alliance Bank is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation, with approximately $50 billion in assets. Western Alliance is again #1 best-performing of the 50 largest public U.S. banks in the new S&P Global Market Intelligence listing for 2020 and ranks high on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list year after year.