By Leona Lau

Every day, we are faced with financial circumstances (especially over here in Sauder), and it usually sheds some light on our personal finances and the health of our bank accounts. In the process, we encounter a variety of basic financial and banking terms that we think we know on the surface, but do not really know how they apply. In light of the confusion, Financial Literacy for Youth (FLY) has stepped in to help students make financially responsible decisions. The idea of forming this non-profit organization stemmed from the realization that there is a lack of resources available to enhance a student’s interest in the ever-important field of personal finance.

Having been around since 2009, FLY initially targeted high school students for their conferences on how to become more aware with personal finances. Operating for a fifth year, FLY decided to do something new: have a conference specifically tailored for university students like us. On March 29, at the SFU Vancouver location, they did exactly that.  Aptly named FLY University Conference: Own Your Future 2014, the conference aimed to inspire students through the classic format of a case competition. A notable difference was the direct interaction with industry professionals during the preparation of the case presentations itself. With advice on hand, each group strived to demonstrate the process of making financially sound decisions. There were also some fun games to past the time as the cases were being evaluated (who does not enjoy a little more competition within a competition?).

As the first University Conference hosted by FLY, it is certainly a milestone for the club that is looking to expand in the coming years. According to Janice Chan, one of FLY’s co-chairs, “Financial decisions are inevitable in all of our lives, and we believe that every youth should be taught the necessary skills and knowledge to manage these decisions early on life.”