Posts Tagged: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy Program – Celebrating 10 Years of Success

Last night, program leaders, volunteers, and teachers gathered in the Claflin Center to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. The evening focused on celebrating the success of the Program, which has reached more than 4,000 students statewide with the help of over 425 volunteers since 2005. Attendees also gained a firsthand account of the impact of the program from 2013 Summer Jobs Student Ben Haideri, who has put his financial literacy into practice, opening a savings, checking and credit account since experiencing the Program.

Did you miss the event? Don’t worry, here’s a look at the evening:

: Program Co-Chairs Janet Bostwick (Janet Boswtick, P.C.), Judge Joan Feeney (U.S. Bankruptcy Court), and Mackenzie Shea (K&L Gates LLP) with Chief Judge Frank Bailey (U.S. Bankruptcy Court).

Program Co-Chairs Janet Bostwick (Janet Boswtick, P.C.), Judge Joan Feeney (U.S. Bankruptcy Court), and Mackenzie Shea (K&L Gates LLP) with Chief Judge Frank Bailey (U.S. Bankruptcy Court).

Judge Joan Feeney spoke about the history of the program and highlighted everyone who has made the program possible over the past ten years.

Judge Joan Feeney spoke about the history of the program and highlighted everyone who has made the program possible over the past ten years.

Ben Haideri, a senior at Boston Latin Academy and 2013 Summer Jobs Student, shared his experience in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program last summer.

Ben Haideri, a senior at Boston Latin Academy and 2013 Summer Jobs Student, shared his experience in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program last summer.

Dr. Donna Costa, Tom Higgins, Karen Sikorski, and Rosemary Slattery from Peabody High School attended the event. Tom Higgins’s Law Class has participated in the program since 2007.

Dr. Donna Costa, Tom Higgins, Karen Sikorski, and Rosemary Slattery from Peabody High School attended the event. Tom Higgins’s law class has participated in the program since 2007.

Hampden County Bar Association President-Elect Christina Turgeon (Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon) and Western Massachusetts Financial Literacy Co-Chairs John Davis (Cooley Shrair, P.C.) and Elizabeth Katz (Ostrander Law Office).

Hampden County Bar Association President-Elect Christina Turgeon (Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon) and Western Massachusetts Financial Literacy Co-Chairs John Davis (Cooley Shrair, P.C.) and Elizabeth Katz (The Law Office of Elizabeth Katz).

Volunteers Deborah Dong, Kristin McDonough (Riemer & Braunstein LLP), and John Loughnane (Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP).

Volunteers Deborah Dong, Kristin McDonough (Riemer & Braunstein LLP), and John Loughnane (Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP).

Stay tuned for more on the event. 

Financial Literacy Volunteers Share Their Stories

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Volunteers enjoy the opportunity to give back to their community and address a real need among high school students.

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Volunteers enjoy the opportunity to give back to their community and address a real need among high school students.

This winter is flying by and we are already halfway through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program in the Greater Boston area. BBA Week thought it would be a great idea to reach out to the volunteers who have already participated in the program to see what they enjoyed most about their experience. The response was overwhelming, which is why we couldn’t help sharing it with our readers. If you haven’t volunteered yet, see what you are missing out on here.

Are you interested in getting involved? It’s not too late to volunteer! Click here to view available sessions.

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Kicks Off in Roxbury

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Amy Lipman-White (Law Office of Lipman & White) and Sarah Barr (Suffolk Law School) discussed the basics of personal finance and budgeting with a group of students at John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science.

Last week, volunteers headed out to 15 schools in the Greater Boston area to teach students about how to make sound financial decisions as part of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. The BBA interviewed two volunteers, Amy Lipman-White (Law Office of Lipman & White) and Sarah Barr (Suffolk Law School) who taught Personal Finance and Budgeting to a group of very engaged students at John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science last week. Amy, a long-time volunteer who has been donating her time since the start of the program, and Sarah, a first-time volunteer, led the students through the basics of budgeting and the basics of taxes with the aid of a jolly rancher reward system. Here’s what they had to say about the experience:

Why did you volunteer for the program?
Amy: I believe this program can make a difference in a student’s life.   I feel that if I can reach just one student and that student benefits in the future from even just one idea, then I’ve made a difference.

Sarah: I am concentrating in Business Law and Financial Services at Suffolk Law School, so this seemed like a great opportunity to give back to the community in a way that corresponds to my career goals and personal values. I think that financial education should begin at a much earlier age than the college years, because this is the time when kids are first beginning to make financial decisions which can really impact their future, such as taking out student loans, applying for credit, paying bills, etc.

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Sarah Barr (Suffolk Law School) discussed the difference between fixed and variable expenses with the students.

Why should other attorneys get involved?
Sarah: Other attorneys (and law students!) should get involved because this is a fantastic opportunity to give back to the Boston community, and provide high school students with some very practical skills in order to help them make educated financial decisions. This program empowers students by giving them the information they need in order to independently make good financial decisions.

What was the highlight of the session?
Sarah: This group of students was very engaged in the conversation, which gave us the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and get the students involved during the entire class. The students seemed to truly care about the issues we were talking about, and were proactive in connecting the information we provided with things that were going on in their everyday lives.

What information did the students seem to find most interesting and useful?
Amy: They were really interested in the W-4 and W-2’s and taxes.  However, this was a unique group of students. Most of them worked one or two jobs with significant hours and had already filled out the W-4 forms and had no idea why or what it was and they were just getting their W-2’s for the first time so they were interested in that topic because they didn’t know they might have to file taxes or that they could file a tax return and get money back or possibly have to pay.  The other topic they always find interesting is making out the budget, it is fun for the students.  They can use their imagination of what they want now and in the future, think about the reality of what things cost and then dream about what they will do to make it happen.

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

This fall, volunteers delivered the program to students at three high schools in Western Massachusetts in collaboration with the Hampden County Bar Association and the Hampshire County Bar Association. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, a collaboration between the BBA and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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.

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.

BBA Releases 2013 Public Service Report

Expanding Our Reach

Beyond the Billable is excited to announce the release of the 2013 BBA Public Service Report. The report, which is titled Expanding Our Reach, focuses on the growth of many of the BBA’s public service programs over the past year. From the Marathon Monday Project to the Summer Jobs Program, it provides a comprehensive look at the impact of our programs and the partners and volunteers who help make them possible.

Click here to see how we expanded our reach.

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.