The bank adds to the robust programming at the renovated Drew Transition Center, which serves special-needs adults ages 20–26; school features include wheelchair-accessible theater, laundry facility, beauty salon, retail clothing store, and more
The Charles R. Drew Transition Center and First Independence Bank have teamed up to spread financial literacy into the classrooms, and today launched a student-run in-school bank at Drew, which serves special-needs adults ages 20–26.
The new banking program at Drew gives students the opportunity to open a savings account and participate in a savings program at the school. Students make deposits into saving accounts during school, but only make withdrawals at First Independence Bank when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Students, who also staff the bank, work on a revolving schedule as tellers, assistant managers, branch managers and marketing personnel.
“This student-led bank is going to be a valuable tool for when our students enter the adult world and will provide them the opportunity to transfer skills learned in the building to the real-world environment,” said Principal Robert Avedisian. “It will also teach them accountability. This is one of many programs that will be coming throughout November.”
The center recently underwent a $5.2 million renovation that allows DPS to adequately serve the nearly 500 students who previously attended Detroit Transition Center East and Detroit Transition Center West. The renovated school combines the best programs of DTC East and DTC West in a bright, well-equipped facility that features a Main Street retail promenade that includes a new wheelchair-accessible theater, laundry facility, beauty salon, retail clothing store, convenience store, gym and post office. Life-sized images of real banks and post offices and even the new Drew Store, along with benches and trees add realism to the facades along Main Street.
The bank program aims to reinforce basic math skills, give young adults a sense of responsibility in handling money and emphasize the importance of saving. First Independence Bank personnel are present in the school whenever the bank is open. Each teller will learn how to accurately maintain a cash drawer and settle the drawer by matching the contents against deposit slips. Further, they will work together to solve problems, and coach and train existing and new staff.