Passion for Sharing Financial Literacy Benefits Vernon High School Student – Vernon Morning Star

Erum Ahmad, an alumnus of Okanagan College, has spent her time teaching high school students in Vernon how to manage their money wisely.

Now she’s giving one of those students the chance to put their learnings into practice by creating a scholarship to fund the next steps in their academic journey.

Ahmad, who graduated from Okanagan College in 2021, found a passion in sharing financial literacy with high school students after experiencing a lack of financial education herself.

“When I was in grade 10, I realized there weren’t any courses to help me learn about finance,” she says. “I needed more than an introduction to budgeting, so I decided to take a basic accounting course.”

When basic accounting was not offered at Ahmad’s high school, she enrolled in a distance learning course. It took tenacity to learn the subjects outside of the classroom, and along the way, she fell in love with accounting. She then completed a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from OC in 2021.

“I love the idea of ​​being able to manage my money,” says Ahmad. “Everyone must have a job and must manage their funds. Financial literacy is an important part of helping all of this make sense.

For more than two years, Ahmad has been bringing her learnings back to the high school where she now teaches, offering to help students at Clarence Fulton High School learn financial literacy.

“At the end of the day, students need to have money to be smart with their funds,” Ahmad explains. “There are many transitions that occur as you move from high school to independent living, balancing work and college life. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to teach this to students and empower them to manage their own money. I wanted to give them the education as well as the funds to apply what they learned.

And at last weekend’s graduation from Clarence Fulton, Ahmad was there to present a scholarship to Taia Buffie.

With matching funding from his employer, Progression Muscle, Bone, and Joint Clinic, Ahmad says the process of creating the scholarship was easier than expected.

“Giving back is important to me because that’s where I know it’s going to make a difference,” she says. “When one person gives back and helps another student, it starts a cycle that keeps growing.”

Ahmad has experienced the impact financial rewards can have. While completing her program at OC, she underwent four surgeries to address health issues.

“I was very sick, but I still had to finish my classes,” says Erum. “I had a lot of anxiety as I tried to get better. Thanks to the awards and scholarships I received, I was able to take care of myself and not worry about my finances. I am very grateful for this support and the flexibility of my instructors who adapted to my schedule.

Ahmad plans to continue adding to her love of accounting as she works towards Chartered Professional Accountant certification.



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Martha K. Merrill