Centura Blog

Connecting Communities & Careers

The Path to Financial Literacy

Posted by on May 28, 2020 in Adult Education, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Financial Aid, Lifestyle

Written by Mike Vaughn

You may have found yourself asking, “what exactly does financial literacy mean?” Understanding the topic of money sounds simple enough, but its complexity depends on our goals. For everyday life, we only need enough to pay our bills and not be overdrawn by payday, but we may be able to do better than that by paying more attention to the ongoing struggle between our wallets and our bank accounts.

The odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, according to Mega Millions. Upon discovering this, most of us must find a different path to financial independence. The saying “spend less, save more” is a good start, but there’s so much more that we can do. We’re not going to go into the stock market here, but we’ll cover some easy things you can start doing today, tomorrow or next week.

Why is Financial Literacy Important

A basic understanding of your finances can help you set financial goals, manage your credit and even determine which bank you should be using. Obviously, the sooner you figure out your finances, the better. We can ruin our credit in a matter of months, but it takes years to rebuild. 

Credit Scores and Credit Utilization Ratios

You never know how important your credit score is until you’re making a major purchase.  Your credit score determines whether or not you qualify for that loan or financing; it also determines the interest rate you’ll be paying. 

It’s a good idea to keep your credit use below 30% of your total available credit.  That is your credit utilization ratio, and it is calculated by dividing the total amount on all your credit cards by your total available credit. For instance, if you’ve got a $1000 credit card, you’d want to keep your balance below $300. If your credit utilization ratio is above 30%, this can hurt your credit score, as this is the second biggest factor affecting your score next to payment history.

Setting a Budget

It’s also important to keep an eye on your accounts and track your spending because it’s easy to find your account overdrawn if you’re not careful. The best thing to do is create a budget. It doesn’t have to be too complex, but some way for you to see how much money you’ve got coming in and how much money you’ve got going out, and when. With this information, you’ll be able to plan how to use your money more efficiently. Once you see where your money is going, it’ll be easier to fine-tune your spending and set financial goals. 

There are a lot of resources online for information and tools you can use. With these financial management tools, you will easily be able to manage your money, manage your debt, and manage your credit.

A good method to follow is the 50/30/20 budget rule. That is 50% for essentials, 30% for personal spending, and 20% for savings and other financial goals.

Financial Literacy for Saving

Be sure to make savings a part of your monthly budget, no matter how small the amount. It’s important to keep your savings out of your checking account. Also, don’t confuse your wants with your needs.

An emergency fund is another good idea, but only dip into it in case of emergency, such as job-loss, medical emergencies, emergency home repairs, vehicle repairs and things of that nature.

It really is never too early to start saving for retirement, so try to get into a 401(k) program as soon as you can. Ask your employer or your bank about getting started, and they will walk you through your options. It’s also recommended that when you get a raise, increase your retirement savings, too.

Other Things to Know

Be aware of interest rates for credit cards, loans, and even savings accounts, as some are better than others. 

A good method for tackling debt is to pay off smaller bills first and getting them out of the way. Follow that up by attacking your higher interest credit cards or loans. 

It might also be a good idea to adopt a cash-only diet. This curbs spending and makes your money a lot easier to track. 

On a final note, it can’t be stressed enough that the more you learn about financial literacy, the closer you will be to reaching your goals.

For more information on Centura College, visit www.centuracollege.edu

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

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Centura College Supports the Children’s Hospital of Richmond Arthur Ashe Books for Kids Program

Posted by on Nov 26, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Centura College, Centura Richmond, Community Connections, Health

Community Outreach Representative, Robert Youngblood with Sue Patow and Peter Weismuller.

Written by Robert Youngblood and Meagan Chappell

Centura College is challenging the Richmond area to donate new books to the community!

Our Centura Richmond Metro team had the pleasure of meeting with volunteers of the Arthur Ashe Books 4 Kids Program, an organization supported by VCU Medical Center Auxiliary that works with children to select age and reading level appropriate books. Volunteers Sue Patow and Peter Weismuller are book buddies who encourage parents to read with their children while waiting in the clinic or at home. Located on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Children’s Hospital are mobile book carts, stocked with books for all ages and reading levels. Eighty-five percent of the books given to families to take home are interactive touch-and-feel book for early readers.

Book Donation Requirements

Since its origin in 1997, the program has received over 91,000 books and is projected to receive 15,000 books by the end of 2019. Throughout the remainder of 2019, Centura College is encouraging the community to support the organization through the donation of new books. All books being donated should be brand new and should fall within the following parameters:

  • Board books for early-level readers
  • Multi-cultural books
  • Bi-lingual books (board books and early-level readers)
  • Graphic novels (comic books)
  • Biographies and autobiographies
  • Sports
  • Science/animals
  • No religious books
  • No political books
  • Generic (non-religious) Holiday books
  • Middle School level books (chapter books, adventure series books)
  • High School level books (social issues and peer relationships)

Drop Off Instructions

Centura Richmond Metro campus will be the primary drop off location. Books can be brought to our campus, located 7914 Midlothian Turnpike, N. Chesterfield, VA between 9:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday and 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

Our goal is to donate 10,000 books by December 31, 2019. By participating, you will directly support the Children’s Hospital of Richmond and the Arthur Ashe Books 4 Kids Program. You’ll also help provide children of all ages with appropriate books and promote childhood literacy and encourage parents to get involved in early literacy.

For details on how you can donate to the Arthur Ashe Books 4 Kids Program, contact the campus at (804) 330-0111.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

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Centura Richmond Grad Finds Position with Duke Clinical Research Institute

Posted by on Feb 1, 2019 in Adult Education, Centura College, Centura Richmond, Medical Assisting

It’s always fulfilling to see one of our Centura College students graduate and find employment in their chosen field of study.  Today’s spotlight features just that: Centura Richmond graduate, Sten Harris.

Centura Richmond grad Sten Harris

Centura Richmond grad Sten Harris

Initially, Sten went to school in North Carolina with aspirations of becoming a veterinarian assistant.  Eventually, he decided to switch gears, and wound up enrolling in the Medical Assistant program at the Centura College campus in Richmond.

During his time at Centura, Sten was a model student and demonstrated signs of being a leader.  He arrived to school every day ready for class and prepared to help others through times of struggle.

Tragedy struck the Richmond campus during Sten’s time at Centura, with the passing of a fellow student (and classmate of Harris).  At the commencement ceremony, Harris was one of the students that volunteered to speak to his fellow graduates about the impact the loss of his classmate had on him.

Following graduation, Harris returned to North Carolina, where he was hired as a medical assistant as a part of the Duke Early Phase Clinical Research Unit. Early Phase works with pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, government agencies, foundations, technology companies, investigators, and academic centers to conduct a broad range of studies in its 34-bed research unit. This state-of-the-art site enables Early Phase to execute high-intensity, continuous monitoring, and procedure-heavy studies.

A big congratulations goes out to Sten for fulfilling his career goals!

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Centura Richmond Campus Donates School Supplies to Children’s Hospital

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Career Services, Centura College, Centura Richmond, Community Connections, Spotlight Feature

Centura Richmond Campus Executive Director, Rob Jones and Sarah Irby. 

 

Centura College Richmond is passionate about the work at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Children’s Hospital. VCU Children’s Hospital is Central Virginia’s only comprehensive, full-service hospital devoted to the care of children. It’s ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospital by U.S. News and World Report and is Virginia’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center.

Last year, the Richmond campus collected over 75 children’s books for the many kids undergoing care at the facility. This year we decided give back to the young patients again, by collecting everyday school supplies. Our students and faculty rose to the challenge presented and we outdid our donations from the previous year!

Student Services Representative Kelvin Lee and Sarah Irby.

With so many school supply drives, the children are unfortunately unable to attend those types of events due to the efforts concentrated on their recovery. Student Services Representative Kelvin Lee and Campus Executive Director Rob Jones decided to visit the Children’s Hospital to present Ms. Sarah Irby (Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator) our donations. With the incredible job this hospital performs on a daily basis we truly look forward to partnering together with Ms. Irby for future events. This was a great way to kick off the new school year by providing much needed school supplies to the hospital’s young patients.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and skilled trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

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Dental Assistant Graduate Success Story: Danielle Young

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Centura Richmond, Community Connections, Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting, Press Release, Spotlight Feature

By Kelvin Lee, Student Services Coordinator, Centura College Richmond 

A quiet, shy, and very soft-spoken individual, Ms. Danielle Young enrolled in the Dental Assistant program at the North Chesterfield campus in March 2017.  As a child, Danielle set her sights on pursuing a career in the dental field.  Her grandfather was a practicing dentist for many years, so she wanted nothing less than to live up to his legacy.

While enrolled in the program, Danielle flourished.  With a firm grasp on the curriculum and the hands-on training, she applied her knowledge in both the classrooms and in the labs.  Danielle was on the North Chesterfield campus’s Director’s List for academic achievement and was nominated (and chosen) for the Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society, all while maintaining a 3.92 grade point average.

Before our annual commencement ceremony in June, we held auditions to determine which students would serve as speakers at the ceremony.  Students were encouraged to write a motivating and uplifting speech about their success at Centura College.   I was quite surprised and excited when I realized that Danielle might be one of our speakers.  This modest graduate would later deliver a soul-stirring speech about humility, encouragement, and what hard work can accomplish.

Incidentally, Danielle was a referral from one of our medical assistant students who later went on to graduate and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  There is an old saying by an unknown author that suggests that if you believe in yourself, others will follow.

I’m proud to say that Danielle has been accepted into the School of Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she plans to continue her education.  She decided not to include this great news in her graduation speech, and while I was on stage, I wondered why she left it out.  It just goes to show the type of person that Danielle is.  As a student and as a graduate of the Dental Assistant program, she wanted to highlight the support that she received from the administrators and the advisers that she met while at Centura College rather than her own achievements.

Congratulations Ms. Young. We all wish you the best of luck in your future pursuits!

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Centura College Welcomes Richmond Job Seekers to Career Fair

Posted by on Apr 17, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Career Fair, Centura College, Centura Richmond, Community Connections, Press Release

Centura College will be holding a career fair for its students, graduates, and individuals in the community who are seeking employment.

 

By Brian Stauss

Centura College will be holding a career fair on Saturday, April 21 at its campus located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike, North Chesterfield, VA 23235. The fair begins at 10 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m.

The event will feature companies from a variety of industries.  Employers attending will lend guidance regarding the application process for their companies, and may even hold on-site interviews for qualified applicants. Guests are expected to attend the career fair professionally dressed, with copies of their resumes and prepared to network. A list of participating employers can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/587435664966929.

“Centura College strives to connect communities and careers, so we are encouraging both our students, and the public to attend,” says Steve Worrell, Campus Executive Director at Centura College’s Richmond campus. “We will have many employers on-site, hiring for a variety of entry-level positions.”

Career fair attendees are also invited to take a tour of the campus’s training facilities and to meet with admissions staff to discuss the benefits of career-focused training and the various program options available at Centura College.

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information regarding Centura College’s career fair, contact the Richmond campus at (804) 330-0111.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and skilled trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

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