Posts Tagged: M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy

BBA Summer Jobs Program: A Summer of Learning

 

Next week, the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program  — a key diversity and inclusion pipeline initiative — will kick off with coffee, muffins and remarks from Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland.  The Program, which began in 1993 with just 16 students from Boston’s public high school, will welcome a record-breaking 55 students this year.  The program allows law firms, law offices, and legal departments to invest in the future of our city – by drawing upon the talents of an ethnically and racially diverse group of teens from Boston’s neighborhoods.

The Summer Jobs Program is not simply an employment opportunity for students, but an enrichment experience – with a strong focus on education.  Students in the program attend weekly seminars on rights and responsibilities in the workplace, civic responsibility, and the judicial system.

Students will also participate in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, a joint venture of the BBA and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. Led by seasoned bankruptcy attorneys, the financial literacy training focuses on personal finance and budgeting, using credit, and financing a car. The finale is held at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, where students participate in a mock bankruptcy hearing and have the opportunity to speak with a Bankruptcy Judge.

Other educational events lined up for the students include a mock City Council hearing to be led by former City Council President, Lawrence S. DiCara at Boston City Hall, a tour of the Adams Courthouse and Supreme Judicial Court, and sessions on the legal implications of file-sharing,  and understanding the college admissions process.

Beyond the Billable reached out to Anthony Betances, a 2011 participant to find out what he thought about the enrichment program.

Anthony Betances,
2011 Summer Jobs Participant

My favorite seminar took place at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.  The reason it was my favorite was because it put into practice many of the things that we had already heard about in the past seminars.  We already knew that irresponsible spending could carry serious consequences, and we had been given some information on bankruptcy, but the unfolding of the process in front of our very own eyes had more of an impact.  All of a sudden, someone spending $40,000 or so but getting hit with more than $80,000 in fees and interest became more real, as did the possibility of buying a car and getting into more debt than that new car is even worth.  It really just showed how ridiculous and reckless things can get if you’re not proactive about, and conscious of, your financial life.

 

The Summer Jobs Program is a longstanding collaboration of the Boston Bar Association, the City of Boston, and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC).  The students are high school rising juniors, seniors and college freshmen, with some work and volunteer experience.  All participants completed an application, provided at least two letters of recommendation, and submitted an essay explaining why they want to participate in this program.  The students are high-achievers with their eyes set on college.  For many of the students, this program will be their first exposure to law as a profession.

Through generous funding from the Boston Bar Foundation’s M. Ellen Carpenter Fund and the Austin P. Jones Fund, 10 students will hold positions in legal services agencies, government and court offices.  All of the enrichment seminars are led by BBA volunteers. 

 

M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Wraps Up

After visiting 7 schools, convening 52 classes and reaching over 430 students, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has concluded its 2012 program year.  This year’s program represented a high water mark in both the number of students served and the number of volunteers mobilized.  87 lawyers, law students, and financial planners donated over 420 hours to teach high school juniors and seniors in Boston, Greater Boston, Worcester and Springfield. The M. Ellen Carpenter represents a public service partnership between the Boston Bar Association and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, and is now in its 8th year.

At the heart of the program is teaching students the importance of making sound financial decisions, and avoiding the poor credit choices that can result in bankruptcy. Through interactive discussions held over the course of four sessions, the students and volunteers covered personal finance, budgeting, credit cards , financing a car, and personal bankruptcy.  With support from the Boston Bar Foundation, students traveled to the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield for the final session, a mock bankruptcy hearing.

Hear what volunteers have to say about the students, the Program and why they donate their time:

 “I volunteered because I cannot believe that a course in basic financial literacy is not required to receive a high school diploma. I was lucky to have parents who taught me the basics- like how to make a budget (i.e, how to figure out that you can’t afford even 10% of the stuff that your teenage self wants), how to live within (or even remotely close to within) your budget, how to balance your checkbook, how to save for college (or a car or a computer or a trip abroad), and how to not go crazy with credit cards.  But not everyone has someone to teach them the basics. And I don’t know how we expect these kids to become functioning, let alone successful, adults without these skills. I wish that financial literacy was a part of every school’s curriculum.   – Kristin Davis of K&L Gates

“I was worried that it would be like pulling teeth to get high school kids interested in credit, but they were very eager to learn and participate.  I was most impressed when the students had questions or wanted to participate without being asked to do so.  They seemed genuinely interested in learning the subject matter.”- Jessica Massey of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

I would hope students understood that credit cards are more than likely going to be a part of their lives and that if used responsibly, they do provide benefits.  However, at the same time, if used the wrong way, they can be very dangerous and lead to major financial problems.”- Michael Licker of Foley Hoag

 

“The most memorable part of the session was when the students shared with us their experiences with lending and borrowing money. For those that had borrowed from friends and family in the past, it was interesting to see how many of them had in fact been charged interest. Upon learning of the inordinately high interest that some of the students had paid to their friends, we shared a few laughs with the students as we explained “loan sharking” to them. – Shemane Amin of Brown Rudnick LLP

To view photos from the Program, please click here and here.

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program would not be possible without volunteers committed to giving back to the children and youth in our community.  A special thanks to the following volunteers for the time they have donated to planning the 2012 Program and teaching the classes:

Honorable Joan Feeney, Program Co-Chair, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Honorable Frank Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Honorable Henry Boroff, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Honorable Melvin Hoffman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Janet Bostwick, Program Co-Chair, Janet E. Bostwick, PC

Jeanne Darcey, Program Co-Chair, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Adam Ruttenberg, Looney & Grossman LLP

Adrienne Walker, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

Alberto Barrera, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Alexis Theriault, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP

Alyse Gould

Amanda Muller

Andrea Roller, Duff & Phelps

Ann Kelley, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Anne J. Farina, Sun Life Financial

Arwen Thoman, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Ashley Quigless, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Zalman, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Bernie Schilling, Liberty Mutual Group

C Kimberly Bakeberg, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Christine Kuta, Kuta Intellectual Property Law LLC

Christopher Fitzgerald

Christopher Gosselin, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Clive Martin, Robinson & Cole LLP-Boston

David Gabor, Wagner Law Group, PC

De Bellofatto, Sun Life Financial

Diane Rallis, Holland & Knight LLP

Doe Pichard, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Elizabeth Katz, Ostrander Law Office

Frederick Paulsen, Burns & Levinson LLP

Galen Gilbert, Gilbert & O’Bryan LLP

Garrett Marques

Gina Barbieri, Mirick O’Connell

Greg Dekermenjian, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Halina Magerowski, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Heather Cheney, Boston Financial Management, Inc.

J.T. Baker

Jaime D’Almeida, Duff & Phelps

James Bonfanti, Eastern Bank

James Downey, Citi

James Kalec

James Zuckernikm, Robinson & Cole LLP-Boston

Jennifer English, Citi

Jenny Yandell, Parker & Associates

Jessica Massey, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Jill Schuler

John Beccia, Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc

John Davis, Cooley Shrair PC

Jordan Baumer, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Joseph Morrissey, JSW Morrissey & Associates

Julian Cooney

Katherine Garavaglia

Kathleen Rahbany, Craig and Macauley Professional Corporation

Krista Selnau

Kristin Davis, K & L Gates LLP

Lane Goldberg

Leslie Buckler

Lucy Lovrien, Attorney at Law

Lynne Xerras, Holland & Knight, LLP

Mackenzie Shea, K & L Gates LLP

Mallory Rott

Maria Grinko, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Mark Berman, Nixon Peabody LLP

Mark DiOrio, Bulfinch Companies, Inc.

Martha Claire Masinton, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Marti Kopacz, Brant Point Advisors LLC

Mary Donnellan, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Mary Sharon, U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit

Mary Sullivan, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Meghan Roche, Attorney at Law

Melissa O’Berg, Rocket Software, Inc.

Michael Licker, Foley Hoag LLP

Michael Pappone, Goodwin Procter LLP

Michele Collins, MetLife

Michelle Greco, Sun Life Financial

Natalie Sawyer, Murphy & King, P.C.

Noah Kaufman, Foley Hoag LLP

Paul Connors, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

Regina Brooks, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Richard Mikels, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

Richard Sheils, Bowditch & Dewey, LLP

Sara Meyers, Ropes & Gray LLP

Shemane Amin, Brown Rudnick LLP

Steven Pohl, Brown Rudnick LLP

Warren Agin, Swiggart & Agin, LLC