ROCKVILLE, Md.- Paint Branch High School Senior Candace DePass talked up her recent MCT Federal Credit Union internship experience to a room full of representatives from Montgomery County Public Schools and the National Academy Foundation during a Leadership Team Breakfast. MCPS and the NAF representatives were meeting to discuss new initiatives for the business/school partnership that prepares young people for future careers through a combination of school-based curricula and work-based experiences. DePass had been invited to speak to the group about her experiences as a participant in the Foundation’s Academy of Finance and as an intern and employee of the MCT Federal Credit Union, a Foundation partner. The 17-year old stepped away from the podium to speak more intimately to her audience about the important life lessons she had already learned. “My paid internship and part-time employment at MCT Federal Credit Union were a great introduction to the working life,” said DePass. “Not only did I learn how to professionally interact with managers, co-workers and customers, I also came to understand how important higher education is because of the choices and opportunities it affords you.” DePass is one of 30 students selected from 700 final applicants to receive a full-tuition scholarship from the Posse Foundation. She will attend Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, in the fall to pursue business administration. Also present at the breakfast were two of DePass’ mentors: Becky Baker, the on-site coordinator for the National Academy of Finance at Paint Branch High School and Jane Westcott, the Chairperson of the MCPS AOF Advisory Board as well as the MCT Federal Credit Union staff person responsible for recruiting DePass. Students in the AOF curriculum must take at least three credits in finance courses and one credit in Entrepreneurship and Business Management, Advanced Accounting and Software Applications, College Business, and Financial Services. A 150-hour paid summer internship in a finance-related position is also required. In addition to offering a job shadow day, MCT FCU has provided internships and summer and part-time employment opportunities to many Academy of Finance enrollees like DePass, many of whom have continued their employment with MCT long after their required internship obligation had been fulfilled. The credit union offers these programs as one way to fulfill its commitment to ensuring the financial literacy of the community’s young people.

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