On Friday, thanks to a grant from the State Treasurer, Deborah Goldberg, over 400 Medford High School and Medford Vocational Technical High School juniors and seniors participated in the 1st Annual Credit for Life Financial Literacy Fair. The fair provided students with a real life experience of learning how to put together a monthly budget.
Students who chose to attend this program, were able to choose a profession, and were assigned a credit score. The top occupations students chose were psychiatrist, computer programmer, nurse, and sports management. 13 students chose teaching. Prior to the fair, Assistant Principal Gail Treanor met with the students to discuss the importance of living within a budget, and taught them some financial terminology.
Each student had to visit the following tables and make decisions about their monthly budget. Tables included: Housing, Transportation, Health & Dental Insurance, Utilities, Luxury, Reality Check, Savings & Retirement, Clothing, Insurance (Home/Auto) Furniture, Nutrition/Health, Charity/Community, Part Time Jobs, and Credit Counseling. Members of the Chamber of Commerce, Business Community, Non Profits, as well as, school personnel, manned these tables and guided the students through the event.
Students quickly realized that what they wanted vs. what they could afford, were two different things! One student really wanted to purchase an Audi. But realized, as much as he would have loved that car, his budget could not afford it. Another student said, “I really want to be a teacher, but if so, I can only afford to get to work via public transportation”. A number of students remarked that they’d probably have to live with their parents for a while as affording rent was too much for their budget.
Superintendent Roy Belson thanked the over 65 volunteers who assisted in making this Fair a success. “Without all of you, we could not have provided this educational program. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Major Sponsor, Members Plus Credit Union, (who provided each student with a clipboard and calculator), along with Bates Insurance & Voya Financial, Bay State Financial, Brookline Bank, CCSR/Cummings Foundation, Century 21 Advance Realty, Century Bank & Trust, Citizens Bank, Comcast, Cosmopolitan Real Estate, Inc., East Boston Savings Bank, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Lonergan Insurance, MBTA, Medford Chamber of Commerce, Medford Employees Federal Credit Union, Medford Boys & Girls Club, MHS/MVTHS PTO, Middlesex Federal Savings Bank, MPS Directors/Coordinators, MVTHS Graphic Arts Program, MVTHS Marketing Program, National Grid, Patriot Bank, Pompeo & Sons, Inc., RJ Beverage, LLC and Wegmans.
The Superintendent introduced Mayor Stephanie Burke, who applauded the students for taking part in this important educational event. She introduced Treasurer Goldberg to the students, who said, “I hope you all learned something today”. The students presented her with a Mustang vest and Treasurer Goldberg promptly took off her blazer and put on the vest. The students loved it! She also joined school personnel in handing out raffle prizes to the students.
Other elected officials who attended included: State Representative Paul Donato, State Representative Sean Garballey, State Senator Patricia Jehlen, City Council President Rick Caraviello, and School Committee Members: Paulette Van der Kloot, Kathy Kreatz, and Paul Ruseau.
Members of the School Administration who attended included: Assistant Superintendent Diane Caldwell, MVTHS Principal/Director Chad Fallon, Director of Math Caroline Joy, Director of Foreign Languages Rita DiCarlo, Director of Personnel/Budget Kirsteen Patterson, Assistant Principal Nick Tucci, and Special Education Coordinator Joan Bowen. Members of the Credit For Life Committee included: Director of Curriculum Bernadette Riccardelli, Assistant Principal Gail Treanor, MVTHS Marketing Teacher Kristen Coolen and Public Information Officer Lisa Evangelista. The Committee would like to thank Headmaster Dr. John Perella, the Buildings and Grounds Office, the media students of MHS/MVTHS, Security Officer Bill Mazaka, Athletic Director Bob Maloney, and Supervisor of Health & Physical Education Rachel Perry for all of their assistance. Special thanks to Paul Texiera, Director of English Learners, who took photos throughout the event.