Edgewood High’s ‘Great Guy’ Wins Maryland Financial Education And Capability Award

His peers at Edgewood High School have often described Dr. Austin Hill as a great guy who is doing wonderful things.That assessment is shared industry-wide as the Dr. Hill, who serves as Academy of Finance Coordinator, is the winner of the 7th Annual Maryland Financial Education & Capability Awards."This is a great honor to have been selected amongst so many of my qualified colleagues. To be recognized for the efforts and programming I am doing at Edgewood High School is truly humbling," Dr. Hill stated in an email. "All I ever wanted to do since entering the teaching profession is to prepare students to be financially literate and responsible to help their families. This award lets me know that I am on the right track."

April is Financial Education Month, an opportune time for the nonprofits CASH (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) Campaign of Maryland, Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to announce the winners of the awards which highlights the dedication and success of public school teachers, community champions and outstanding organizations who deliver financial education.

Financial education focuses on a range of business management concepts and behaviors, including budgeting, careers and income, credit, savings, financial decision-making, and understanding values and habits about money.

The Awards were developed by the CASH Campaign of Maryland, in conjunction with the Maryland Financial Education and Capability Commission, to call attention to the importance of financial education to the lives of Marylanders.

"Financial education is so important because it is the key to change family situations and dynamics. Many families struggle to understand their finances and how to make changes to make improvements," Dr. Hill said. "Sometimes, an offer that seems too good to be true really is, and families do not realize that. It is up to us to educate the next generation and give them the tools needed to be successful, and make wise decisions to help the generation before them, and generations to come after them."

The Academy Of Finance at Edgewood High School helps to promote financial literacy within our program and outside of our program.

Dr. Hill says Edgewood High leverages relationships outside of the school to create programming for the entire student body and community.

"Starting with our student run credit union, we not only perform financial transactions for the students but have created 'Lunch and Learns' where students can learn about financial literacy topics during their lunch periods," Dr. Hill said. "For April, we will be hosting financial literacy events at our local library for teens and adults to benefit and learn about finical literacy. These are a few of the programs that we have going on at Edgewood High School."

Raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Dr. Hill attended the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where he earned both an undergraduate and master's degree. Later, at Capella University, he obtained a doctorate.

"I encourage everyone to talk about finances with their young ones. I think many families may be embarrassed to do so, but it is truly the only way that kids will learn and be aware of the world around them," Dr. Hill said. "Many students are oblivious before graduation, and life hits them hard once they walk across the stage. If parents talk about budgets, how to pay bills, what a wage/salary is and how to account for taxes. Also, giving kids scenarios— some real-life— can help them to understand the importance of knowing and understanding their finances."

For an easy and free way for people across the state to learn to manage their personal finances better, visit the Maryland CASH Academy, the only statewide online source for free, in-person financial education classes at www.mdcashacademy.org.