Student’s from Another Course to College ask questions about how to build credit.
On Friday, students in Jerry Howland’s law class at Another Course to College in Brighton had a crash course in credit cards. With the help of Attorneys Adam Ruttenberg (Looney & Grossman LLP) and Patricia Saint James (Looney & Grossman LLP), the students learned the basics of credit and how to build credit while making smart choices about their finances. This is the second session in the four-part M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program (you may remember this post about the personal finance and budgeting session).
Take a look below for more on the session:
Volunteer attorneys Patricia Saint James (Looney & Grossman LLP) and Adam Ruttenberg (Looney & Grossman LLP) taught the students about using credit wisely at Another Course to College.
Students answer questions about the difference between debit cards and credit cards.
Students from Another Course to College review the Financial Literacy materials on credit cards.
Next up for the students is the ever popular “Buying a Car” session, which will be followed by the “Consequences” session at the US Bankruptcy Court. Stay tuned for more!
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, answered Janet Bostwick’s questions about the Program at the 10th Anniversary Celebration.
At last week’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, guests got to enjoy a unique experience, seeing the effects of the Program in front of their eyes. Ben Haideri, one of the 4,000 students who have participated in M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program since the program began, agreed shared his experience in the Program with party attendees. You may remember Ben (who is a senior at Boston Latin Academy and 2013 Summer Jobs student) from this article or this article—he’s a bit of a legend at the BBA. He took part in the Program during the 2013 Summer Jobs Program, when it was offered as a series of enrichment seminars.
Take a firsthand look at what he had to say:
Beyond the Billable also sat down with him to gain a deeper understanding of what he took away from the Program. Here’s what he had to say:
How have you applied what you learned from the program?
“There are very few programs from which the participants are able to literally walk right out and apply what they learned that very day. The financial literacy program through the BBA, however, stands out as being extremely effective in that regard. Between the day that I participated in the first seminar and now, I have opened a checking and savings account and, more recently, got my first credit card. I don’t believe that I would have been so confident yet careful with such tools that I had at my disposal had it not been for the program.”
What did you like best about the program?
“This program very much epitomizes the learning experience of a student in that it offers the perfect balance between reality and practice. The guest workshop leaders were all professionals who had experience in whatever field they were teaching about, and the financial literacy workbook was just that, a workbook. It combined practice problems that we will most likely face in real life with explanations that are thorough and extensive, attributes that are perfect for those who are learning about financial literacy.”
What do you think was the most important thing you learned?
“The one lesson that stood out the most to me was the one about using credit cards. It may be because I have grown up during a time of general distrust when it comes to dealing with large banks, but I went into the lesson thinking (probably like most people) that credit cards always came with a catch, and in terms of society, seem to have a very negative connotation. Although the credit card companies can be tricky, what I got out of the lesson was just simply to not bite off more than you can chew when dealing with credit cards. The second someone does that he/she is already headed down a slippery slope. The fact is that very few people are able to use cash to buy a car, a house, or even a couch, so, when used responsibly, a credit card, I learned, is a tool that can do a lot of good.“
Is there anything you found particularly useful?
“I very much enjoyed visiting the Bankruptcy Court through the program. While visiting the court, we heard from lawyers and a judge, and it was an amazing experience to be in the presence of people who I look up to. Apart from the experience itself, I would say that since my goal is to become a lawyer, being able to see such people in action is something that I will always find useful.”
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).
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.
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 (The Law Office of Elizabeth Katz).
Volunteers Deborah Dong, Kristin McDonough (Riemer & Braunstein LLP), and John Loughnane (Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP).
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.
Beyond the Billable would like to thank the volunteers who donated their time and expertise to the Program:
Honorable Henry Boroff, United States Bankruptcy Court
Janet Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC
Jennifer Butler, Weiner & Lange, P.C.
John Davis, Cooley Shrair, P.C.
Henry Geberth, Hendel & Collins, PC
Alex Hogan, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.
Elizabeth Katz, Law Office of Elizabeth D. Katz
Michael Katz, Bacon & Wilson, PC
Eric Kornblum, The Law Office of Eric Kornblum
Joseph Lange, Weiner & Lange, P.C.
Andrea O’Connor, Weiner & Lange, P.C.
Denise Shear, Ostrander Law Office
Spencer Stone, Hendel & Collins, PC
Christina Turgeon, The Law Office of Christina M. Turgeon
Gary Weiner, Weiner Law Firm, PC
Make sure you don’t miss Western Mass co-chair Liz Katz’s response to this week’s Voices of the Bar, asking volunteers why they participate in the Financial Literacy Program
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.