ELKINS - West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue gave American Legion Auxiliary Rhododendron Girls State citizens two pieces of advice Monday: get an education and learn how to balance a budget. Perdue was the guest speaker for the first full day of the 76th session at Davis & Elkins College.
The week-long experience for more than 300 female rising high school seniors from West Virginia entails government-focused education sessions, a mock election process and activities that pay tribute to the nation’s veterans.
“Education is the key that will open up the door of opportunity in your life,” Perdue said.
As a youth growing up on a small farm in Boone County, he had always hoped to attend college, but wasn’t sure where he would get the money. As he got older, he worked various jobs and saved his earnings to make his dream come true.
To help others achieve their education goals, Perdue and the West Virginia Legislature established SMART 529 West Virginia College Savings Plan. The program helps families prepare financially for their children’s education.
“A college education changed my life,” Perdue said. “Maybe right now you don’t know what profession you want. I never dreamed I would be the treasurer of the state of West Virginia, but going to college and having other training changed that.”
However, Perdue cautioned the citizens not to fall prey to credit card companies who often target college students.
“There are kids who come out of college with student loan debt and credit card debt,” Perdue explained.
The state treasurer’s office offers financial education resources for youth, teens and adults that includes information on saving, budgeting and paying off debts.
“I encourage you to work hard because that will determine what doors of opportunity will open for you,” Perdue said. “Getting an education and knowing how to balance a budget will make you a success in life.”
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.
Photo Caption: West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue addresses the citizens of American Legion Auxiliary Rhododendron Girls State, emphasizing the importance of a college education. Photo by Josh Triggs, 3MI Photography.