By: Joseph Mahan

The Federal Reserve Bank is embracing the opportunities of face-to-face community interactions. The Oklahoma City Branch Public Affairs team was invited back for a second year by the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce to speak to 36 of Tulsa’s NextGEN Talent students to explain about the Federal Reserve and basic financial concepts.

Tulsa’s NextGEN Talent is a three-week externship that connects African American students with business leaders and career opportunities.

Rue Ramsey, vice president of workforce & talent strategies, economic development at the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, said the goal of the program is to provide access to the students because their communities are often denied it.

“I think money matters,” said Ramsey. “The information shared from the Federal Reserve Bank will create opportunities for the students by giving them financial knowledge and information before they move out on their own.”

The NextGEN Talent students also experienced a business etiquette session sponsored by the Oklahoma City Branch. During this session, students learned how to act during a business meal.

Leslie Baker, Public Affairs- Oklahoma City, guided the TNT students through a hands-on budgeting activity that required them to make decisions on how they spend money. “The fickle finger of fate” cards were given to the students to show the importance of preparing for unexpected life events.

“This is an engaging activity where they learn about real life situations while making difficult decisions,” said Baker. “The students can apply the skills learned into their daily lives.”

Nailah Markham, a Tulsa Public Schools student participating in the program, explained she was not aware of most of the information taught prior to this lesson.

“I work a job currently so many things that I learned here today I can use in my career now and in my future,” said Markham.

Leslie Baker said the participation of the TNT students shows the importance of community outreach from the branch.

“The in-person visits allow relationship building by forming a connection with the students which online interactions do not allow,” Baker explained.

Ramsey said she appreciates the partnership with the Fed public affairs team.

“This opportunity to speak directly to the experts from the Federal Reserve is important for the students’ future,” said Ramsey. “The interaction ignites curiosity in our students and provides meaningful insight that they need.”