Students are able to perform normal banking operations from an offline system that allows them to do all the functions of banking without seeing any of the confidential information. Students who intern at the bank also sign a confidentiality waiver for working at the branch, and the money is kept in a safe location when the bank is not in operation.
"We want to encourage students to deposit their funds and limit the amount they can take out from this branch because we want them to understand the need for financial stability," said Braiman.
The bank was created as a way to help students understand the importance of saving and stabilizing their own economic future. Students are encouraged to start their own bank account at the school branch and are given an incentive of $5 toward the opening of their own account, aptly named "the freshmen five." Students also gain a "Warrior Point" for every $5 that they deposit in the bank. These points can be redeemed for gift cards to local fast-food restaurants, movie tickets, money toward a yearbook and even money toward prom. All students need to open a bank account at the Warrior Branch is their social security number, Mohonasen High School Student ID and $5 to open the savings account. Mohonasen is one of the many banks that First New York Credit Union has opened in Schenectady County schools.
"It's handy. Many kids forget lunch money, so they take out $5 for lunch. That makes it kind of convenient for them if they get into a pinch," said Braiman.
Much like Mohonasen High School, Schenectady High School operates The Patriot Branch, which runs under the same principles in educating business students in how to work with finances and to get them ready for work outside of school.
"The coupons and all of the giveaways help get students involved," said Shiwsankar. "If I needed a job during college, I would probably go to a bank because I have experience."
Shiwsankar said she is looking at Union College or the University of Albany after graduation in May.
"I think this will help me because how many kids can say that they worked in a banking branch in their school?" she said.