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A+ Federal Credit Union gives students jobs

Branch+manager+Marla+Carter+and+senior+Mitzy+Martinez+work+at+the+bank+desk.+Interns+work+after+sixth+period.
Branch manager Marla Carter and senior Mitzy Martinez work at the bank desk. Interns work after sixth period.

Branch manager Marla Carter and senior Mitzy Martinez work at the bank desk. Interns work after sixth period.

Branch manager Marla Carter and senior Mitzy Martinez work at the bank desk. Interns work after sixth period.

Jennifer Espinoza, Staff Writer

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When Mitzy Martinez and Monique Rottman finish their sixth period class they don’t go to an ordinary classroom; they go to work at the new on-campus branch of the A+ Federal Credit Union.

The bank branch, which opened its doors for the first time in August, is giving three students the opportunity to work as interns this year. It’s a job they had to apply for just like any other job, but senior Mitzy Martinez said it has certain advantages that they would not have had before the branch at Akins opened.

“In all honestly I absolutely love my job because they are super flexible and understanding,” Martinez said. “I get out at a very reasonable time which I am super thankful for and I have time for myself and I still have time to be on track with school which is something I am very strict with myself about.”

Akins is the first high school in Austin ISD to have a bank branch located on campus, giving students here a unique learning experience in a working job environment.

Positions to work in the bank are not restricted to students in the ABLLE Academy, but business teachers encourage students to who are required to take classes that are business and leadership related. The process to get the job is the same as applying anywhere else.

Students apply on the A+ website and search for available positions. The bank encourages students interested in working for the bank to submit a résumé and even if students don’t have any work skills, knowledge of working in a bank. Students involved in clubs or organizations can instead include those so the credit union can determine if they are a good fit.

Given this amazing opportunity to be able to work here at my own school and for my first job to be working at a credit union is a true blessing”

— Mitzy Martinez

“Given this amazing opportunity to be able to work here at my own school and for my first job to be working at a credit union is a true blessing,” Martinez said. “It will open many doors for me in the future and being 17 I have learned so many things working here.”

The credit union was designed to be a learning experience for the ABLLE Academy student interns so that they can learn to balance having a job with other responsibilities. Just like any other job, it may cause some conflict with their schedules and affect how they handle other priorities.

At times it may be hard for them to have a job along with having assignments, deadlines that they need to meet, or personal engagements that they want to attend. But that is the point of this experience that will aid at giving them perspective that their classes already mean to offer them.

“While balancing both work and school is difficult in any regard, I know I am managing well,” junior Monique Rottman said “It gets overbearing at times, however I know it’s the best I can do for my future.” Junior Monique Rottman said she has been able to network with bank supervisors and administrators and learn valuable lessons that have made her more interested in studying business.

Akins High School A+ Branch Supervisor Marla Carter said the students working the bank have exceeded her expectations.

“They have very quickly adapted to the environment and working in a fast pace environment,” Carter said. “They are doing awesome, picked up very quickly.”

The credit union is opening up accounts for students and teachers. Account holders and the school receive 10 cents whenever the A+ debit cards are used. A+ also plans to give presentations to students to educate them in the benefits of having a bank account and how to effectively manage their money.

“Our main goal is to provide financial education right here in Akins (and to) the surrounding feeder schools,” Carter said. “We would love to be able to provide those in-classroom presentations for all the schools that lead up to a high school.”

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