Yippie Banker Summer Camp

THE school year's close can cause a different level of anxiousness in parents. It doesn't matter if you're a stay-at-home, work-at-home, or full-time at work kinda parent—the worries are all the same.

We all don't want our kids to waste their precious time sitting on the couch glued to the TV, surfing the net all day, playing computer games, or texting their friends and bantering with them on social media as their only forms of human engagement. We hope they can have a nice balance between rest and activities. They still need to stay occupied to ensure they get the most out of their breaks before heading back school.

Last summer, the most enriching and educational activity my middle child was able to participate in was the Junior Yippie Bankers Summer Camp of 2016 at Maybank Velez branch. This program has been the first of its kind for a foreign bank in the Philippines, and it has been conducted annually in many branches nationwide, since 2013. Thus, I immediately grabbed the chance for Sammy to participate when my Maybanker and Velez Branch manager, Ethel Zaldivar Montebon, told me about the program.

Initially, the idea was met with much resistance. Sam didn’t want to go because he did not fancy waking up early. The call time was 8 a.m. and he wanted to sleep in (hello, summer). He also was unsure if he would enjoy the activities. Moreover, he was reluctant to attend without knowing the other participants, and he was afraid of venturing into unknown territory.

After much pep talk on my part about all the lessons he could potentially learn, plus the fact that he will earn something at the end of it all, my son finally relented. I can honestly say he did not regret the experience at all. Ask him!

At the end of each work day, he would come home with a huge smile on his face and a full tummy because the manager always ordered food. He had tons of stories to share about what happened in his day with his fellow-participants/friends, along with lessons on finance tucked under his belt.

I remember he would animatedly discuss what Tita Ethel said about the significance of hard work, the value of savings, and the importance of delayed gratification. As a parent, it was very rewarding to hear the principles that I have always strived to inculcate in my kids, be affirmed by someone in authority in the bank.

The Junior Banker Summer Program is specifically designed for 7-12 year olds to learn about the banking industry by shadowing staff members for 5 working days.

The participants get to be a: branch manager, teller, service head, new accounts officer, and “meeter-and-greeter”. Sam’s group was able to rotate among all the activities. His favorite parts were venturing inside an armored car, taking a peek at the vault, seeing an open ATM machine, and counting money as a teller. I was joking with him to take home some bundles for me, but he seriously said everything must be accounted for.

I recall Sam was not looking forward to being the meeter-and-greeter by the front door because he is by nature a reserved fella. However, he was able to overcome his bashfulness and greet the incoming clients with a smile, offer them candy, or show them where they need to go. It was awesome that he was given this challenge to hone his customer service and people skills. I realize now more than ever, that we really need to make our kids get out of their comfort zones so that they will learn and grow.

At the end of the program, their group had a mini-graduation ceremony with the manager and their paychecks were deposited into their new Yippie Accounts. Another nugget of wisdom learned that I truly appreciate was the realization of my child that it is not easy to earn money. Alleluia!

Shortly after graduation, they even met again in SM, where they distributed flyers and asked random mall goers if they were interested to open Maybank Credit Cards. This again was another Herculean challenge, which the kids were able to complete.

It was definitely a fun and fulfilling summer that I am sure Samuel would remember even years down the line. These are the kinds of memories that I want my children to have. Even if they are already old and grey, I hope they will be able to look back at their youth with a smile and say that they were able to engage in things that are worthwhile; those kinds of things that enriched their heart, mind, and soul.

I am thankful to Maybank for this rare opportunity!

For inquires you can visit Maybank CDO Business Center at Velez St. or call 088-8800043. Happy Banking!