cft-ocean-bank-interns_web.jpgA record 45 incoming seniors from Miami-Dade public schools have graduated from this year’s Future Bankers’ Camp. The innovative four-week camp, which ended June 27 and is now in its seventh year, provides hands-on experience for future students interested in financial services industry careers.

The camp gives students opportunities to enhance math, communication and financial literacy skills, while completing a bank internship and receiving industry certification. 

Ocean Bank, which provided the original seed money for the program, took in 22 interns this year.

“We’re excited to be a part of this program and we have seen its effectiveness and the students’ enthusiasm first-hand,” said Ocean Bank Senior Vice President and the Center for Financial Training board member Cheryl Rees. “Not only does this internship give students crucial ‘hands-on’ experience at a bank, it helps build teamwork and communication skills valuable in any career. Perhaps above all, it promotes financial literacy – one of the most critical habits for young people or anyone – to master in managing their lives and building their futures.”

The students are enrolled in Miami-Dade Public Schools Academy of Finance programs at Barbara Goleman, Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Mater Academy East, Miami Jackson, North Miami Beach and Sunset senior high schools.

Upon successful completion of the camp, students are eligible to receive the American Bankers Association/American Institute of Banking (AIB) Bank Teller Certificate.

This national industry standard certificate meets the educational requirement for the certification exam offered by the Institute of Certified Bankers. Students who graduate can also work toward an Associate of Science degree in Financial Services.

CFT Executive Director Connie Laguna is certain the program will grow in 2015. “We’ll be able to provide this opportunity to serve more students next year, and I think we’re going to see a lot more participation from banks, now that they are seeing the program’s results,” Laguna said.

The Miami-Dade Public Schools Academy of Finance program is a member of the National Academy Foundation, a national network of career academies to support the development of America’s youth toward personal and professional success in high school, higher education and throughout their careers.

Fifteen Miami-Dade high schools have Academy of Finance career academies.

The camp is hosted by Miami Dade College and the Center for Financial Training and sponsored by CareerSource South Florida and 15 participating institutions  – the highest number ever – including 13 banks, the Florida International Bankers Association and the South Florida Banking Institute.

Participants include Ocean Bank, BankUnited, Intercredit Bank, City National Bank, Continental National Bank, Community Bank of Florida, Espirito Santo Bank, Florida International Banking Association, Mercantil Commercebank, Popular Community Bank, Professional Bank, Regions Bank, TD Bank, the South Florida Banking Institute and Wells Fargo Bank.