Maine's CUs Host Financial Fitness Event

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Maine's credit unions hosted their second annual Financial Fitness Money Management Experience Event here at the Central Maine Community College in Auburn. Open to students from six high schools in Lewiston/Auburn, the three-hour event attracted more than 100 high school juniors and seniors.

"The event was an interactive 'game of life,' designed to help bring awareness and understanding about the importance of teaching teenagers about money management as well as highlighting the leadership role that Maine's credit unions have taken in promoting youth financial education," said the Maine league.

Each participant was presented with a scenario packet of their life at age 22, which includes their occupations, income and credit history. From there, students had to map out their financial future from financing their housing to purchasing their food and clothing. Students were selected to participate in this event by their teachers based on their experience with financial goal setting. Students had to visit each of the event's ten booths. Nearly 50 volunteers from credit unions and other organizations served as "coaches" to assist students at each of the booths.

"These students are at an opportune age to start learning 'real life' financial responsibility," explained Jon Paradise, the Governmental and Public Affairs Manager for the Maine Credit Union League and Master of Ceremonies for the day. Paradise noted, "In their junior and senior year students are in the beginning stages of planning for their future, whether they plan to attend college, full time, part time, or at all, and where they will live and how they will commute. Last year's program was a real eye opener for the students and we hope that this year was as well. Our goal was not to scare the students about the future but to encourage them to think about issues, such as a spending plan, budgeting, credit and savings."

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