The Victoria Mutual Group, through its VM F.E.T.E (Financial Education to Empower) programme, is equipping teens and young adults with critical money management principles to give them a solid financial foundation, through a series of engagement activities.
The organisation’s latest Financial Education Seminar held at the Waltham Park New Testament Church of God, as part of its Teens Week activities, saw trained VM F.E.T.E youth ambassadors and VM’s Financial Services Specialists collaborating to provide secondary and tertiary-level students a comprehensive understanding of the journey to financial wellness; and led students in reflective exercises that allowed them to determine their financial profiles and their money personalities.
The session also introduced the concepts of budgeting and goal planning and enabled participants to see that their financial goals, no matter how big, are attainable, and even more so with an early start.
Shamalla McGregor, VM Financial Services Specialist, a presenter at the seminar, noted that it is important to start having conversations about money management with young people at an early age.
“At VM, we understand the importance of meeting people where they are, and we are constantly finding creative ways to engage our youth to find out how we can help them. Often, we hear persons lament about how better off they would be had they been given certain financial advice at an earlier stage. We want to change that narrative from ‘had I known’ to ‘VM taught me how’,” she said.
Renaldo Ramsay, VM F.E.T.E Ambassador added: “The other ambassadors and I were in awe at the level of interest shown by the participants. Most of them were clear about their goals and the timeframe they wanted to achieve them in but expressed that they simply needed guidance. That’s why sessions like these are so important and the more groups we engage, the more we see how relevant the programme is.”
VM F.E.T.E was launched in 2019 and has trained eight ambassadors from the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology to make sound financial decisions; to understand the principles of personal financial planning and the Victoria Mutual approach to creating and maintaining wealth. Following training, the ambassadors were charged to seek opportunities for sharing their knowledge on their respective campuses; and through online and social media platforms, with the support of VM representatives.
The programme has developed a range of collateral, including a tertiary students financial literacy curriculum, secondary and tertiary financial literacy workbooks and brochures, and a VM F.E.T.E video series for secondary students.
Clover Moore, Assistant Vice President, Group Corporate Affairs & Communications, said the VM F.E.T.E programme has been impactful in providing financial education to youth, in keeping with the organisation’s mandate to educate its Members and clients so that they may achieve financial well-being.
She said the entity is looking to expand the programme to have an increased presence on university campuses islandwide.
“We are excited about the opportunities to engage with the future of Jamaica through VM F.E.T.E. We have witnessed the innovation, creativity and eagerness of our ambassadors in sharing the tenets of financial literacy with their peers through this programme and we are hopeful about the continued impact this engagement will have as the programme expands to reach even more persons,” she said.