In photo, students Cameron Millar, left, and Evan Jurdan are pondering their next move at the Credit for Life Fair in Randolph on April 12. Photo by Judy Bass
By Judy Bass
Over 300 juniors and seniors from Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton got a hands-on lesson in managing their money on Friday, April 12, when they participated in the Credit for Life Fair at the Randolph Intergenerational Center.
“High school students need to understand how to manage their money and understand the impact of financial decisions they make,” said Blue Hills Guidance Counselor John Davis, who organized the event. .
It took place at an appropriate time because April is Financial Literacy Month.
The students pretended to be adult professionals making decisions about how to allocate their money and budget their spending in key areas like education, furniture, clothing, housing, and insurance.
“This was an amazing interactive student-centered lesson that had them think on their feet about important financial decisions based on their ‘career’ and lifestyle,” said Blue Hills Principal Jill Rossetti. “The students I spoke with really enjoyed this financial literacy experience. A special thank you to all our faculty, staff, Boosters and community volunteers for helping to make this a huge success.”
According to information Mr. Davis supplied, “Credit for Life is an interactive event supported by local banks and held at area high schools. It is designed to introduce students to personal money management and budgeting in a simulated but relevant experience. Community volunteers, parents and teachers volunteer at booths to engage and support students as they rotate to each booth and make spending decisions with their money, visiting booths like housing, transportation, clothing, food, insurance, retirement plans and, if any money is still left, entertainment options. Students make purchases based on the monthly budgets and salaries assigned to them.”
The event was made possible with the help of a grant from the state treasurer’s office. Sheila Farragher and Harbor One helped in consultation regarding the Fair.
Harbor One, Norwood Bank, Envision Bank, Bank of Canton, Blue Hills Bank and Voya Financial all provided volunteers to staff the booths.
It was truly a group effort on the part of Blue Hills as well.
“Additionally,” said Mr. Davis, “we had over 40 parent and community volunteers including the BHR Boosters Club who volunteered and made a special donation and supplied food for volunteers. The Blue Hills Guidance Department worked diligently over the past few months to coordinate fair logistics, reaching out to potential volunteers and accessing the Randolph Intergenerational Community Center as an optimal venue. Then they worked on having each student complete a survey and choosing a career and going over the basics of the event with the students. Guidance Coordinator Peggy Hall collated and mail merged all of the spending sheets for students. The Graphics and Design and Visual Communication programs provided signage and printed materials.”
Mr. Davis also gratefully acknowledged the support of the Blue Hills administration and faculty.
Senior Evan Jurdan of Dedham, who attended the Fair, said, “This event helped me to think about how I would manage and spend money in the future and what I can expect to have to pay for some things. I learned about managing income and savings and how you have to balance spending and saving based on your income. After graduation from Blue Hills in June, I am going to college and after that, I am going to go into an IT technician job. I feel pretty confident about managing my finances, and I feel that the other students enjoyed the event and learned a little along the way.”
Mr. Davis was so pleased with how everything went that he’s already hoping to do it again. “We endeavor to make it bigger and better next year!!”