Tina Mike of Havre de Grace was honored by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot Wednesday for her work at Edgewood High School.
Mike, who is the assistant vice president of financial education for Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union, helped pioneer a program at the high school to teach students about finances firsthand.
With direction from Mike, APGFCU opened its first student-run credit union in Harford County at the high school in February 2012. Students are trained to work as tellers for the branch, which is open 52 days a year for two hours a day, scheduled around students' lunch periods, according to Credit Union Times.
APGFCU selected Edgewood High School because it has an established Academy of Finance, according to Explore Harford. Mike sits on the board for the academy.
Having learned about Mike's work through Harford County Superintendent Robert Tomback, Comptroller Franchot traveled to Edgewood High School to present Mike with his Golden Apple Award. The recognition was presented to one person in each of Maryland's 24 jurisdictions who was a standout volunteer.
Upon accepting her award, Mike said that it was really a recognition of her colleagues at the credit union. She asked them to stand up, and several students rose from their chairs.
"I am so lucky to do what I do in this county and work with the people I work with," said Mike, who graduated from Aberdeen and whose daughters graduated from Havre de Grace High School.
"Yes, my passion is financial literacy education and it will be until the day I die," Mike said. "Because of financial education, you'd be amazed ... what you can do when you set your mind to it and you have a little bit of knowledge or you know where to get that little bit of knowledge."
Students spoke during the Jan. 16 award presentation at the high school, stating that Mike taught them so much, they will definitely visit her when they are home from college.
The comptroller, who is an advocate for financial education in the school system, lauded the work at Edgewood.
"After all you kids get financial education," joked Franchot, "we're going to get the legislature a course in financial education."