Financial literacy seminars offered by SVTS and local bankers

Posted on February 16, 2012 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Omar Barrigan, a U.S. Bank personal banker, answers a question from Ari Encarnacion during the recently held financial literacy seminar at the Teen Center.

The first of three free financial literacy seminars was offered on a recent Saturday morning at the Valley of the Moon Teen Center, located at 17440 Sonoma Highway.

The seminars, part of Sonoma Valley Teen Services “Skills for Life” program, brought together Valley teens and local bankers for a one-on-one financial download of sorts.

Bankers Alfredo Pedroza, Redwood Credit Union, and Omar Barrigan, U.S. Bank, discussed checking accounts, debit and credit cards; building and safeguarding credit history; identify theft prevention and budgeting with sixteen teens.

In evaluating the two-hour session teens wrote, “It was full of important information that was explained clearly, and I learned things that I was never sure about, such as banking terms.”  Another teen shared, “I learned how to manage my money and the consequences of not paying bills and loan payments on time.”   Due to the interactive teaching manner facilitated by Osias Encarnacion, one teen wrote in his evaluation, “I am glad that it wasn’t a huge lecture.  It taught me a lot.”

Upcoming seminars include:

Savings and loans discussed on February 18, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Teen Center.  Eric van Diest, personal banker, Sonoma Bank, will share information about savings accounts, bonds, and college savings plans. Loans for automobiles, auto insurance, college expenses and starting a small business will also be discussed.

Skills needed for financial careers will be discussed on February 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. t Westamerica Bank, 202 West Napa Street, Sonoma. Co-presenters Paco Villasenor, vice president, and Lisa Deffenbaugh, personal banker, will offer a tour of the bank premises, discuss teller work (money handling and customer services), managing accounts and loans and other careers in banking and finance.

All classes are free to teens.  Transportation, snacks, beverages, bank promotional items and certificates of completion will be provided.

Pre-registration is necessary as space is limited.  Register for the two remaining financial literacy courses by sending an email to [email protected]   Leave a message on Facebook, call 939.1452 or visit the web site at

Free ‘Life’ seminars

Another “Skills for Life” free seminar called “Resumes and Interviews” will be held February 18 at the Valley of the Moon Teen Center on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.  Certificates of completion will be awarded.

A “Dress for Success” seminar for girls ages 13 through 21 will be held at “My Girlfriend’s Closet” located at 539 First St. West March 3 at 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.   Fran Meininger, owner of the consignment store, will demonstrate how to dress for success on a budget with clothing that is suited for teens  in a variety of work settings.

Please contact SVTS to register at above noted addresses.

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