Springfield, MA—On April 6th Putnam Vocational Technical Academy hosted its first in-school Credit for Life Fair for nearly 175 freshmen who had completed JA Personal Finance this past fall.
The fair was funded by a grant from the Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment in accordance with the Financial Education Innovation Fund initiative.
Sharon Nieves, Business Information Management educator created the program working with Edward Nunez from Freedom Credit Union and Jennifer Connolly from
Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts.
Mr. George Johnson, Principal of Putnam Vocational Technical Academy said,” The students really got a lot out of the credit for life fair. I would like to thank the business community for volunteering their time to our Putnam students and making the fair a success.”
“I just wanted to take the time to thank you and Junior Achievement for all you do. I had the best time volunteering yesterday at the Putnam Vocational Credit for Life Fair. I have enjoyed both the classroom program and your new kinetic program. Having the booths made it more interactive and engaging for the students. I look forward to volunteering again in the future with Junior Achievement. It is such a great way to make a positive, powerful impact on the community and youth.” Christine Pleshaw,MassMutual volunteer.
Students portrayed 25 year old single adults with a job in their chosen trade and were challenged to build a balanced budget by visiting each of the thirteen booths at the fair.
Booths included housing, education, clothing, furniture, transportation, credit scores, savings and retirement, food and nutrition, a loan center, and charitable giving. Students who needed additional income could apply for a part-time job by completing an application and an brief interview. To spice up their experience, students stopped by to spin the wheel of chance at Reality Check and found themselves getting a tax refund or paying for a flat tire. The Fun, Fun, Fun booth offered students the opportunity to buy a trip, a cell phone, or a night of fine dining. At the end of the fair students had to meet with a credit counselor and review their budget and their decisions.