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 Virginia Beach Campus Held a June Career Fair

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Career Fair, Career Services, Centura College, Centura Virginia Beach, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Spotlight Feature

Written by Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator

Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus hosted its semi-annual Career Fair on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019. Before the event, Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator, provided donuts and resume starter packets. The Career Services Department held a workshop prior to the Career Fair to help students learn the basics of resume building, cover letter writing, interview skills and how to dress for success.

In addition, during the student body meeting, students received instruction and information on preparing their 30 second elevator pitch while watching a role-play from Career Services and Student Services on ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ during the Career Fair. To conclude the week, a speed interview workshop was held,and feedback was provided to the student on their interview skills.

Altogether, 20 businesses and over 30 students participated in the Career Fair, building connections and opportunities for employment. Some of the companies in attendance included: Jordan-Young Institute, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, Massage Luxe, Waffle House, Elite Women’s Care, Massage Envy, Liberty Tax, and Integrity Staffing Services. During the Career Fair, students were able to learn more about each company, network, receive feedback, and gain career tips within their field. Many employers found prospective students to fill positions within their company and have created partnerships with not only Centura College but also other companies in the area. Overall, the Career Fair was a huge success for our students; it allowed employers and company representatives to meet in one place and gain the advantage of meeting face to face with students of Centura College.

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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Centura College Graduate Spotlight: Rachel Handley

Posted by on May 6, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Career Change, Centura College, Centura Virginia Beach, Health, Lifestyle, Massage Therapy, Spotlight Feature

Written by Olivia Jordan, Career Services Coordinator

Rachel Handley is a graduate from the Massage Therapy program at Centura College’s Virginia Beach campus. Although Rachel faced an array of obstacles while completing her training, she was determined to persevere and finish, despite her circumstances.

Rachel expressed that during her time at Centura she learned the lesson of listening to her needs. “My time at Centura College taught me a lot,” Handley stated. “However, the most important lesson I learned was to simply slow down, listen, enjoy, and be patient. Slow down and listen to my body, listen to my mind, listen to my emotions, and listen to my spirit. Slow down and enjoy the moment, enjoy my family, and enjoy my food. Slow down and be patient for the right moment to come and let what I desire to be drawn to me.”

Rachel has now successfully completed her massage therapy program and launched her own business, Knots Untwisted. With her experiences at Centura College to guide her, she is now capable of withstanding the unexpected difficulties one can have in owning their own business. “I am living my dream right now and enjoying every second of it,” stated Handley.

We are so proud of Rachel’s success and wish her all the best in her massage therapy career!

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Centura Chesapeake has Vision for the Future

Posted by on Mar 6, 2019 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, Lifestyle

Written by: Zakkiyya Anderson

A fitting event for March 4th, the Centura College Chesapeake campus welcomed guests to their March Into Your Vision, Vision Board Workshop for an evening of networking, goal setting and fun!

The workshop started off with visitors grabbing snacks and getting to know their neighbors before the fun started. Then, the night kicked off with a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament that got everyone energized and ready.

The event brought out a diverse group of individuals from, entrepreneurs to career coaches to realtors. While working on their vision boards, guests were guided through ten steps to success that included tips and tricks on how to effectively network, proper interviewing techniques, and how to master your career search. Guests even learned a quick way to always be prepared for the often dreaded, elevator speech.

As the night went on the guests shared their goals for 2019 and beyond, but took it a step further by talking about how they were going to achieve those goals. Stories were shared about how some of the guests had to overcome obstacles on their path to success, and everyone in the room encouraged them to keep pushing!

Everyone who came left with more than just a poster board full of cutouts; they all took away useful tools to push them further toward their goals — and even a few new friends!

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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Film on Centura College Grad and His Service Dogs Premieres at Regent University

Posted by on Jan 26, 2019 in Campus Connections, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Community Connections, Lifestyle, Military Friendly School, Press Release, Scholarships, Spotlight Feature, Veterans

A small team of local filmmakers have completed work on a documentary of an Army veteran, Toby Yarbrough, and his service dogs Duke and Sasha. The film gets its origin from the novel The Quiet Healing, which was authored by Yarbrough and published in 2017. The film premiered at a special screening at Regent University on Saturday, January 19th.

Yarbrough red carpet
Toby Yarbrough (second from right) and his service dog Sasha pose for a photo with the filmmakers of The Quiet Healing at the premier event held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA.

A Story of Perseverance and Healing

The film tells the story of Yarbrough, the traumatic injury he suffered during his time in the Army, his struggles with PTSD upon the end of his service, and how his service dogs saved his life in more ways than one. 

“The most important thing people should take away from this film is that this is just one man’s story, but so many others suffer from similar situations that Toby does,” says Andrew Lauto, director of the film. “It’s a story about struggles, hurt, pain, perseverance, love, and companionship. If you like dogs, support the military, or just want to listen to a feel-good story, this film is for you.”

From the Classroom to the Big Screen

The Quiet Healing project was partially funded by a collaboration of a trio of local educational institutions, Centura College, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, and Tidewater Tech. Yarbrough is a graduate of Centura College’s Chesapeake campus.

“We are so proud to be able to support a student who has given so much to serve his country. Toby was a tremendous student and a true inspiration to everyone around our campus,” says Ashley Oden, Campus Executive Director at Centura College Chesapeake. “When he told us he was writing a book and that it was going to be made into a film, we knew we wanted to be a part of helping him tell his story.”

Check Donation
Proceeds from ticket sales to the premiere, totaling $5,400, were donated to Heal The Warriors.

All proceeds from ticket sales for the premiere were to be donated to Heal the Warriors and prior to the showing, a check for $5,400 was presented to Heal the Warriors.  Heal the Warriors provides access to much-needed services to our veterans and first responders who suffer from traumatic service-related brain injuries.

Also as part of the premiere ceremony, Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Centura College, announced the creation of a scholarship program called the Yarbrough Scholarship for Disabled Veterans. This scholarship will be awarded to one disabled veteran each year.

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Centura College Norfolk Medical Assisting Students Connecting with Their Community

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in Adult Education, Campus Connections, Centura Norfolk, Lifestyle, Medical Assisting, Spotlight Feature

By Otis Grate BS, MBA, CCMA

Centura College’s Norfolk campus continues to build strong, productive, and meaningful relationships with our surrounding communities. It is not out of the ordinary for the Norfolk campus to direct its attention towards providing citizens of the community with various types of services. Often, these services will vary, but proven to be valuable for many community members. With active teaching a priority throughout the campus, Centura Norfolk utilizes opportunities such as regularly scheduled visits to the Salvation Army’s KROC Center to build student’s confidence and knowledge base.

For the last year, students from Centura Norfolk’s medical assisting program have been venturing out to the Salvation Army’s KROC Center to provide their senior community patrons with an opportunity to receive basic health screenings. These screenings readily include: blood pressure readings, temperature and pulse, respiration, and glucose readings. Although these assessments are often viewed as basic, the interaction with patrons provides students the opportunity to utilize their skill sets in the real world, while providing the seniors in the community a great service; a service that many of these seniors may not be able to afford on their own.

Mrs. Kim Foulkes leads the charge with this event, equipping her students with the tools they need to be efficient and effective. Ensuring each student maintains courtesy and professionalism while providing the highest level of quality care for each patron they assess. The Salvation Army has been truly appreciative as well as resourceful in regards to assisting Centura Norfolk with building stronger bonds with our communities. Centura Norfolk is proud to be a part of this effort and will continue to find ways to “Connect Communities and Careers”.

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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