Feb. 6, 2013
A new mobile web application that will help high school students develop financial literacy skills was launched Monday at Holy Heart High School in St. John's.
The FYI Expense Tracker is a financial planning smart phone application that allows users to track and review their expenses on the go. It was created by Enactus Memorial, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), and is being introduced into high schools province-wide this year as part of the career development curriculum.
The FYI project was developed in 2010, in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union, to increase financial and entrepreneurial education for secondary students in Newfoundland and Labrador. Twelve classroom sessions focused on financial literacy and entrepreneurship were developed but during the budgeting session in particular, the Enactus team realized that the traditional pen-and-paper methods they were espousing weren't relevant to today's high school students.
"We're always around technology and that's something we would use, to take five seconds to put it into our phones," said Jessica Fleming, FYI project manager, during the launch.
"This app makes budgeting not only more relevant but also a little exciting to use in the classroom."
The mobile, web-based application can be found at www.fyiexpensetracker.ca. It's free and customizable depending on the user's needs.
The website also includes lesson plans and support materials for teachers to aid in implementing the app into classrooms.
Education minister Clyde Jackman, who attended Monday's launch, praised the dedicated volunteers of Enactus Memorial as well as its embracing of technology.
"I just came from a global forum ... with 101 countries represented," he said, "and one of the things that was very clear was those countries that are going to be leaders in education are those that embrace technology sooner."
Fleming also acknowledged the support of the Faculty of Business Administration during the event, which has been a long-time supporter of Enactus Memorial.
"We are proud of our long association with Enactus and of its national and international success," said Dr. Larry Bauer, associate dean of academic programs, during the event. "But more importantly, we're proud of the impact that Enactus has here in the province and in our communities."
Enactus is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.
The 69-member Enactus Memorial University team, which includes students from the faculties of business administration, arts, education, science and engineering, currently runs 11 community programs.