New club seeks to create money savvy students

Photo by Keri Weiland

Jason Howard

As a college student, it can be difficult to know how to manage money and make smart financial decisions for the future.

Building Economic Success Together, or BEST Alliance, is a new club at UNF that is trying to help students learn about tools for financial fitness.

BEST Alliance is an initiative of the National Disability Institute, but it is an all-inclusive and student-led organization for students with and without disabilities.

Michael Roush, the manager of financial empowerment and innovation for the National Disability Institute, said one of the goals of the club is to network students with local financial planning institutions and services such as tax services and credit counseling.

BEST Alliance formed at UNF out of a collaborative between NDI, the Coggin college of Business, The Arc Jacksonville and UNF’s On Campus Transition Program, according to the club’s website.

Juan Rodriguez, club president and UNF healthcare administration junior, said the club offers peer-to-peer mentoring in finance and money management to its members.

“We’re hoping to recruit a lot of mentors for the program,” Rodriguez said.

While other finance clubs on campus — such as the Finance and Investment Society — are more competitive business-centered groups for those interested in careers in finance, BEST Alliance focuses on the educational aspect of money management and requires no fees.

UNF’s BEST Alliance is the inaugural chapter of the club, which is slated to expand nationwide to different college campuses, according to an NDI press release.

The club held a launch event Jan. 23 that featured workshops and interactive games. Free tax preparation was provided at the event for qualifying students.

Students who attended said they found the event helpful.

“I’ll most definitely come back,” said Vivian Lanham, UNF sociology senior who attended. “I think every college student needs to know how to invest their money.”

Email Jason Howard at [email protected]