Tyler Earns, Saves—& Gives it Away

Ariela Martin PhotoAfter spending the summer working and learning how to save money, Tyler Gallman struck it lucky and won an iPad—then fulfilled a promise to give it to his mom.

On Tuesday afternoon at the Start Community Bank on Whalley Avenue, Gallman, a student at the Eli Whitney Technical High School, received his iPad in a presentation at the bank’s headquarters. He won the iPad in a second annual contest run by Start. The contest is a part of a financial initiative that reaches over 600 young people enrolled in the Youth@Work summer jobs program, which provides summer and year-round employment opportunities, workplace exposure, and work readiness activities to New Haven teens.

The students had the opportunity to create a bank account and have an ATM card issued in their name with a limited daily withdrawal amount. Students attended the bank’s “Loot Camp” class, which taught them how to take charge of their money by having direct deposits of their paychecks into their own savings account. Throughout the summer, emails and newsletters were sent to students about benefits of saving and budgeting as well as specific information about the features and benefits of their account.

“During the Loot Camp, kids would come in and we would teach them all of the necessities for banking,” said Lynn Smith, Start’s vice president for business development. “We would use examples like MC Hammer, who lost his fortune and went into debt because he wasn’t using his money appropriately. The kids related to the example, and took away important skills that you don’t always learn in school.”

This summer, Gallman worked in New Haven city government’s elderly services department. “I really enjoyed working there. I met a lot of new people and definitely learned and worked hard,” he said.

Gallman earned over $1,000 this summer, and was able to save $302.64, which translated to three tickets ($100 saved per ticket) being entered into the pool for the iPad raffle.

“We are thrilled with our Youth@Work partnership. This opportunity allows us to help exceptional young adults like Tyler learn the value of saving and the language of finance,” said William H. Placke, CEO of Start Community Bank.

Ariela Martin, a student at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, is an Independent contributing writer.

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