Posts Categorized: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

Four Reasons to Volunteer for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program

 Through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, volunteer attorneys teach students how to make smart financial decisions during three-classroom based sessions and a trip to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, volunteer attorneys teach students how to make smart financial decisions during three-classroom based sessions and a trip to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program kicks off on Monday with sessions at New Mission High School and Boston Community Leadership Academy. Even though the program is about to get started, the BBA is still looking for volunteers to help meet the demand. That’s why Beyond the Billable checked in with one of our Financial Literacy Co-Chairs, Janet Bostwick (Janet E. Bostwick, PC); to hear the four best reasons you should volunteer for the program. Here’s what she had to say:

(1)    Because you don’t know the fun you are missing.  I have received numerous calls from volunteers after teaching their first class, who tell me they can’t wait to sign up again.  Volunteers enjoy going to the classroom and interacting with the students, while teaching them about budgeting, credit cards or buying a car.
(2)    Because as little as five hours of your time will make a big difference in the lives of the students.  From start to finish (training, preparing, travel, and class), the time commitment is typically five hours or less.  Helping the students learn the basics about personal finance and credit will provide them with skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
(3)    Because you wish someone had told you about credit and personal finance when you were their age.  Maybe it was your first paycheck (when you saw how little you took home).  Maybe it was that first car you bought (when the salesman talked you into a pricier model.)  Or, maybe it was juggling that first credit card and the minimum payments.  We all had to sort through personal finance and credit issues at some point in our life, but often on our own.  You can help provide these students with the information now, and prepare them for those crossroads.
(4)    Because you will be an ambassador for your profession.  This spring we are in 15 schools in Boston, Greater Boston, and Worcester.  Some of our students had little prior contact (or positive contact) with attorneys and the legal profession.  Your presence and involvement will help them have a better understanding about our profession.  (And, maybe you will be the spark for one of them to consider becoming a lawyer in the future.)

Are you convinced? Click here to sign up for an open volunteer session.

Prepping Volunteers to Offer Financial Literacy Education to 15 Schools

Janet Bostwick (Janet E. Bostwick, PC)

Janet Bostwick (Janet E. Bostwick, PC) discusses her experience volunteering for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program with new volunteers.

Volunteers braved the pouring rain on Tuesday night to attend the annual M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Training. Judge Joan Feeney (U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Jeanne Darcey (Sullivan & Worcester LLP) joined ), Janet Bostwick to walk the packed room through the volunteer materials and discussed tips for engaging high school students.  As you may have heard from this article, 15 schools have signed up for the program, which means one thing—we need lots of volunteers.

Are you interested in volunteering? Click here to view the available sessions.

The New Year Means New Reasons to Give Back

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is one way to give back in 2014.

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is one way to give back in 2014.

Is your New Year’s resolution to get more involved in the community this year? Beyond the Billable is here to help. Take a look at this list of upcoming public service trainings and events during the month of January to get you started:

Representing Clients Pursuing Unemployment Benefits
Thursday, January 9, 2014 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

The BBA is partnering with the Volunteer Lawyers Project and Greater Boston Legal Services to train attorneys of all experience levels to provide pro bono representation to clients who are pursuing unemployment benefits.

Public Interest Leadership Program Information Session
Monday, January 13, 2014 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Are you an up-and-coming leader in the legal community or in the BBA? Interested in connecting with other civically engaged lawyer leaders? Come learn more about the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program and how to apply.

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Training Session
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM

If you are looking for an opportunity to work with students, don’t miss the upcoming M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Training. After completing this training, volunteers go into high schools and educate students about the importance of making smart financial decisions. Each class is designed to last approximately one hour and you can sign up for a time and location that works best for you.

Limited Assistance Representation Training and Breakout Sessions
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Come to the annual LAR certification training to learn the basics of going into court for a single event in a case. After the main training, you can choose to attend a breakout session on LAR in the Boston Municipal Court or the Housing Court. Are you already certified? Just sign up for one of the breakout sessions.

A Year in Photos

The BBA has had a quite a year of public service. For a look back at our members’ commitment to the community, take a look at the photos below:

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In January 2013, the John & Abigail Adams Benefit raised over $560,000. That amount helped to fund grants to 24 Massachusetts community organizations providing legal services in areas such as immigration, domestic violence and homelessness.

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The BBA held two free Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) trainings during the winter to certify nearly 100 lawyers to accept cases for limited representation. LAR provides an opportunity for attorneys to gain valuable courtroom experience, and most importantly, more people with unresolved legal issues that require representation receive the help they need. Attorneys received certification in the Probate and Family Court, Land Court, Housing Court, and Boston Municipal Court.

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In 2013, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program more than doubled in size, reaching nearly 1,300 students across Massachusetts with the help of 158 volunteers.

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Lisa Menelly (Raytheon Company) traveled to Mozart Elementary School in Roslindale to teach Ms. Pearl-Haynes’s 4th grade class about the 2013 Law Day in the Schools theme “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” From May 1st-3rd, 41 volunteer attorneys traveled to seven Boston public schools to teach 782 students about the topic.

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Members of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) leveraged the resources of the bar to launch the Community Reentry Readiness Program through the Federal Court to provide information to federal probationers on key civil-legal issues that they will face when re-entering society.

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After the tragic events on Marathon Monday, the BBA offered pro bono legal assistance to small business and victims affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. The BBA recruited over 200 attorneys, firms, and law schools who were eager to help. The BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service received 70 calls and through collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, the BBA volunteer attorneys assisted 63 small business owners and victims with legal matters in the wake of the Boston Marathon events.  In addition, the BBF demonstrated its commitment to Boston by donating $25,000 to the One Fund to further assist victims.

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On June 6th, members of the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) hosted a groundbreaking symposium addressing the emerging legal and community-based issues associated with human trafficking. The event drew in over 125 attendees and national press coverage.

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This year, 32 diverse law students participated in the Diversity & Inclusion Section’s Judicial Internship Program which places students in local courts including the Boston Municipal Court, Probate & Family Courts and US Bankruptcy Court.

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In its 20th year, the BBA Summer Jobs Program placed a record-breaking 58 Boston public high school students in paid positions at Boston law firms, legal departments, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. This year, the BBF increased its commitment to the program by funding paid positions for 13 students at non-profit community organizations, government offices and courts.

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Pro Bono Month, which happens every October, was jam-packed with trainings and volunteer opportunities to encourage attorneys to give back to our community. The BBA held five pro bono trainings that prepared 206 attorneys and law students to engage in pro bono work and connected 250 new attorneys and law students with 28 Boston-area legal service agencies through a Pro Bono Fair.

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On September 1, 2013, the BBA Lawyer Referral Service became the new home of the Military Legal Help Line, which was established to connect veterans, military personnel, and their families with lawyers and other legal resources appropriate to their needs. The service refers callers to qualified attorneys offering reduced fee and pro bono legal assistance or the appropriate government or non-profit agency. In an effort to prepare attorneys to help with these reduced fee and pro bono cases, the BBA held a four-part CLE series this fall on topics including, family law, labor and employment, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, trusts and estates, and education benefits.

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On November 20th, BBA President Paul T. Dacier joined over 150 of Boston’s leaders in visiting Boston Public Schools (BPS) to gain a firsthand look at the successes and challenges of the city’s school system as part of the BPS Principal for a Day Program. Paul shadowed William Thomas, the headmaster of Charlestown High School, for the morning. Charlestown High School is one of the largest high schools in Boston with 954, 39% of its student body is Limited English Proficient, and 46% of students qualify for free or reduced-priced school meals.

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The BBA President Paul Dacier and BBA Executive Director Rich Page joined Mayor Thomas Menino along with the current representatives and alumni of the Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) at the 20th Anniversary Celebration on November 29th. As you may know, the BBA is a longstanding partner of the MYC, combining efforts with the City of Boston and Northeastern University.

Takeaways from the Table – A Discussion on Financial Literacy in MA

Through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, volunteer attorneys teach students how to make smart financial decisions during three-classroom based sessions and a trip to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, volunteer attorneys teach students how to make smart financial decisions during three-classroom based sessions and a trip to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Last Thursday, the BBA joined educators, financial advisors, government employees, and other nonprofit staff to discuss the status of financial literacy among high schoolers throughout the state at the Massachusetts Jump$tart! Coalition Financial Literacy Roundtable Discussion. The program taught us some important information about the state of Financial Literacy in Massachusetts and some interesting things about our own program.

Here’s what we took away:

1) Massachusetts has no mandate. Unlike other states, Massachusetts does not mandate that students learn any financial literacy before graduating from high school. The lack of a requirement, coupled with limited school resources and jam-packed curriculums, acts as a key impediment to integrating financial literacy into high school curriculum.

2) The BBA’s program meets a need. The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program helps fill the gap in financial education while working around these constraints. As you may remember, 1,300 high school students throughout the state learned how to make sound financial decisions with the help of over 150 volunteer attorneys last year.

3) Our program makes it easy. Because each module is only an hour long, the program does not interfere with lesson plans or MCAS preparations. Our volunteers relieve the burden on the teacher to learn and create new financial literacy lesson plans, plus they offer a truly unique legal perspective on the consequences of poor financial decision making.

4) We can do more. Other roundtable participants highlighted the importance of integrating interactive technology into financial literacy curriculum and closely monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of financial literacy programs. Over the next year we will be evaluating our program and looking for opportunities to strengthen it.

A Trip to the Court – Summer Jobs Students Learn Consequences of Poor Financial Decisions

The Summer Jobs students participated in the Consequences module of the Financial Literacy Program this morning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The Summer Jobs students participated in the Consequences module of the Financial Literacy Program this morning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

At the last session of the BBA’s Financial Literacy Program, the Summer Jobs students received firsthand lessons about the consequences of poor financial decision-making directly from the source — the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. With the help of Judge Joan Feeney and a number of volunteer bankruptcy attorneys, the students witnessed a mock Meeting of Creditors and mock Chapter 13 hearing.  The session finished with a brief presentation by Beatriz Mejia, a BBF-funded students who interned at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court this summer. She outlined the different chapters of bankruptcy and reiterated the importance of saving and planning your finances for college, especially because students loans are nondischargeable in bankruptcy.

Here’s a look at the morning:

Beatriz Mejia, a Summer Jobs intern at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, walked the students through the different chapters of bankruptcy.

Beatriz Mejia, a Summer Jobs intern at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, walked the students through the different chapters of bankruptcy.

Judge Joan Feeney showed the Summer Jobs students how the court’s computer system works during their visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Judge Joan Feeney showed the Summer Jobs students how the court’s computer system works during their visit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

 

Financial Literacy for Summer Jobs Students– Not BBA Exclusive

The Nelson Fellows completed the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program with a trip to the Bankruptcy Court for the Consequences module this morning.

The Nelson Fellows completed the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program with a trip to the Bankruptcy Court for the Consequences module this morning.

As you’ve heard in past posts, one of the benefits of the BBA’s Summer Jobs Program is their weekly enrichment programs, including modules of the BBA’s M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program on important issues like buying a car and learning the consequences of poor financial decisions. Due to the popularity of the BBA program, however, summer jobs students at the Judge David S. Nelson Fellowship Program of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Boston Private Industry Council students working at Tufts Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have all benefited from lessons on the importance of making informed decisions regarding their finances

The BBA and its group of volunteers were thrilled to offer this program to more youth in Massachusetts.

Summer Jobs Students Contribute to Record Breaking Financial Literacy Numbers

David Rozenson taught the Summer Jobs students about car loans and the cost of purchasing a car as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.

David Rozenson taught the Summer Jobs students about car loans and the cost of purchasing a car as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program.

This morning, BBA Summer Jobs students participated in “Buying a Car,” a module of the BBA’s  M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. This module is just one session of the four part program, which teaches high school students about the importance of making informed decisions regarding their finances. The program has set records this year, reaching more than 1,300 students across Massachusetts. Here’s another incredible stat: the program provided financial literacy education to more students during the 2013 program year than it reached in all of its previous years combined, 2005-2012. This incredible growth is thanks to the BBA’s volunteers and the quality of its programming.

Teesdale_RaenelleRaenelle Teesdale, a recent graduate of John D. O’Bryant School who is interning at Chu, Ring, and Hazel LLP this summer, has been thinking about buying a car.

Here is what she had to say about this morning’s session:

“The session had me thinking about all of the possible expenses when buying a car including gas, insurance, and the payments. I’m not saying I won’t buy a car, but I now know that I need to be more financial stable before purchasing one.”

In mid-August, the Summer Jobs students will visit the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the final module—Consequences—to learn about the repercussions of poor financial decision-making.

Financial Literacy Volunteers Make Program a Success

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program served a record-breaking 1,000 students this spring thanks in large part to our dedicated volunteers. Beyond the Billable would like to acknowledge the 141 attorneys, legal staff, and law students who volunteer their time to teach students how to make sound financial decisions.

Volunteers Susan Curtin (U.S. SEC) and Jose Gonzalez (City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel) teach students about using credit and credit cards.

Volunteers Susan Curtin (U.S. SEC) and Jose Gonzalez (City of Boston, Office of the Corporation Counsel) teach students about using credit and credit cards.

John Affuso, Massachusetts Port Authority
Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC
Melissa Armstrong, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Artesani, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Hon. Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Gina Barbieri, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody LLP
Susan Bernstein, Susan Bernstein Law Offices
James Bonfanti, Eastern Bank
Arthur Bookstein, Bookstein Law
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Ann Brennan, Ann Brennan Law Offices
Regina Brooks, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Steven Brujic, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Lindsey Burton, Litle & Co.
Andrew Cahill, Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Alexandra Capachietti, Burns & Levinson LLP
Brian Carroll, Foley Hoag LLP
Michelle Chisholm, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Stephanie Cocce, Greater Boston Legal Services
Tara Colby, Liberty Mutual Group
Michele Collins, MetLife
Kathleen Conlon, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Meaghan Connolly, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Corrado, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jared Crittenden, Suffolk Law School
Susan Curtin, Securities & Exchange Commission
Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps
Jeanne Darcey, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Joel DeFelice, Marder & Defelice Law Offices
Peggy DeFren, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Smita Deshmukh, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Christine Devine, Mirick O’Connell – Westborough Office
Gregory Devlin, Flowers and Manning LLP
Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.
Andrew Doherty, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Randall Dorf, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Alicia Downey, Downey Law LLC
Meghan Driscoll, Suffolk Law School
Elizabeth Duffy, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Andrew Fagenholz, Liberty Mutual Group
Anne Farina, Sun Life Financial
Hon. Joan Feeney, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Allyson Fiorello, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Mary Flaherty, Suffolk Law School
Alexander Flig, Flig Law Office
Susan Frigoletto, Frigoletto Law Offices
Brendan Furey, American Student Assistance
David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC
Sean Gilligan, Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Barbara Gilmore, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Barry Gold, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP
Lane Goldberg, Goldberg Law
Jose Gonzalez, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
Kelly Goss, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Nancy Gregory, Blum Shapiro
Maria Grinko, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Kelli Gunagan, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Richard Harper, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Katrina Harrington, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
William Harrington, Office of the U.S. Trustee
Pamela Harvey, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Kristi Heiman, Massachusetts School of Law
Zachary Heller, New England Law Boston
Rachel Hershfang, Securities & Exchange Commission
Stewart Hirsch, Strategic Relationships
Hon. Melvin Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Alexander Hughes, Suffolk Law School
John Kacoyannakis, Law Offices of John Kacoyannakis
Anne Kaczmarek, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
James Kalec
Kevin Kam, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Brittany Kaminski, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Noah Kaufman, Foley Hoag LLP
Deirdre Keady, Harmon Law Offices, PC
Ryan Kelley, Boston College
Alexander Klibaner, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Keith Kollmeyer, Jones Day
Sebastian Korth, Korth Law Office
Kimberly Kroha, Commerce Group Inc.
Anelise Lago, Wells Fargo
Dmitry Lev, Law Offices of D. Lev, PC
Deborah Levine
Richard Levine, Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC
Michael Licker, Foley Hoag LLP
Andrew Lizotte, Murphy & King, P.C.
Catherine Lizotte, Office of the Corporation Counsel City of Boston
John Loughnane, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Halina Magerowski, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Martha Masinton, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Stacie McHale, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Daniel McLoughlin, EMC
Lisa Menelly, Raytheon Company
Sara Meyers, Ropes & Gray LLP
Rose Miller, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jacqueline Modiste, The Law Offices of Jacqueline L. Modiste
Darren Mooney, Suffolk University
John Morrier, Casner & Edwards, LLP
Maura Murphy, Sun Life Financial
Rebecca Neale, Klein Kavanagh Costello LLP
Maura Nugent Martinelli, Goodwin Procter LLP
Melissa O’Berg, Rocket Software, Inc.
Beth Oldmixon, Pierce Davis
Laura Olton, LSO Energy Advisors LLC
Helen O’Rourke, Liberty Mutual Group
Gregory Pakhladzhyan, American Student Assistance
Daniel Pierce, Duane Morris LLP
Mark Powers, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP – Worcester Office
Rosa Previdi, Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
Kathleen Rahbany, Craig and Macauley, PC
Kiernan Reed, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Erika Reis, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
Sarah Richards, Nixon Peabody LLP
Meghan Roche, Law Office of Meghan Roche
Terence Rodgers, Berkeley Research Group LLC
Ian Roffman, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Joel Rosenthal
Douglas Rosner, Goulston & Storrs – A Professional Corporation
David Rozenson, Boston Compliance Associates
Domenic Russo, EMC
Adam Ruttenberg, Looney & Grossman LLP
Natalie Sawyer, Murphy & King, PC
Bernie Schilling, Liberty Mutual Group
Mary Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Mackenzie Shea, K&L Gates LLP
Christopher Somma, Goodwin Procter LLP
DeBorah Sonnenschein
Danielle Spang, Law Office of Danielle Spang
Morgan Springer, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jamie Sroczynski, Liberty Mutual Group
Leslie Su, Minerva Law PC
Ilene Sunshine, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Anthony Taylor, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Scott Waldman
Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.
Risa Webb, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Steven Weil, Doherty Ciechanowski Dugan & Cannon PC
Patricia Weisgerber, Suffolk Law School
Susika Wylie, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Jessica Youngberg, Suffolk Law School

Please watch for opportunities to volunteer for the Financial Literacy Program this summer as part of the enrichment seminars for the BBA’s Summer Jobs students.

For more information on the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].

Final 2013 Financial Literacy Module Teaches Students “Consequences” Of Poor Financial Decision Making

When people think of April, springtime, birds chirping and flowers blooming may come to mind. According to the U.S Government, however, April is officially National Financial Literacy Month, which is dedicated to highlighting the importance of financial literacy education and healthy financial decision making. April also marks the conclusion of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, which hosted its final “Consequences” module today. During the five consequences sessions, students witnessed a mock hearing presided over by Judges Frank Bailey, Joan Feeney and Melvin Hoffman at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Boston and Worcester. Beyond the Billable stopped by the court to bring you a firsthand look at the sessions:

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Boston Latin High School students watch a mock meeting of creditors and hearing with the debtor, “Sally Spender.”

Students from Another Course to College, Milton High School, and Peabody High School asked questions too learn about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Students from Another Course to College, Milton High School, and Peabody High School asked questions to learn about the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

For more information about the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D’Angelo, Public Service Programs Coordinator, at [email protected].