Maine Credit Unions Present PHS Event on Financial Fitness
Credit unions in southern Maine presented Portland’s second Financial Fitness Money Management Experience at Portland High School on October 17. More than 200 Portland High School seniors participated.
The half-day event, which can be compared to an interactive “game of life,” builds awareness about financial literacy. Students received a scenario packet of their life at age 22, including their occupations, income and credit history. They had to map out their financial futures - from financing their housing to purchasing food and clothing.
Tucker Cole, president/chief executive officer of Portland-based Evergreen Credit Union and president of the local chapter of credit unions, said the experience aims to help students understand the importance of making smart financial decision at any age.
“With these students having heard a lot said on the troubled economy in the last couple years, this event actually gives them the opportunity to better prepare themselves by truly understanding the importance of being financially fit,” Cole explained.
“These students are preparing to enter the real world, be it through applying to college or joining the work force,” he said. “It is critical that they gain a strong understanding of money and how to spend and save. The interactive nature of this event allows them to do just that.”
Participating students seemed to enjoy and embrace the event and the lessons it provided into the real-world financial challenges facing adults.
One student remarked, “The job I thought I was going to pursue does not pay enough for me to live. I am glad I found out now so I can see what other options are out there.”
Another student described the event as “really helpful in knowing the importance of not only setting a budget but sticking to it. This was one of the best things that I have participated in during high school,” she added.
Representatives from credit unions throughout the greater Portland area and the Maine Credit Union League helped to organize the event.