Stop by this Hopedale Jr. Sr. High School classroom and you will find something which will certainly interest you. Three students, Andrew Doran, Benjamin Tahmoush, and Joshua Weaver are all part of the Financial Fitness Team, which plans a year-long educational financial fitness campaign which is highlighted by the “FinFit Fair” taking place in December. The Fair aims to educate students on financial literacy, and provides a realistic simulation into post-graduation life for Hopedale’s Juniors and Seniors.
Hopedale Jr. Sr. High School’s business teacher and DECA advisor, Talitha Oliveri, encourages innovative and creative efforts that get students involved in the learning process. The driving force for this teacher is to enhance the financial literacy knowledge of the entire school so they are better equipped to independently manage their finances at a young age. When the opportunity to apply for a Credit for Life Fair grant arose, she immediately applied. The financial literacy team is using the $2,200 grant she received for the third time to continue the great success of the event and add to the yearlong project.
In addition to the FinFit Team, the Hopedale Jr.-Sr. High School DECA program, a student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management, is instrumental in helping organize the Financial Literacy Fair. The mission of Hopedale’s “Financial Fitness Fair” is to educate the teens and community about the importance of financial literacy and money management. The “FinFit4life” Fair is being held on December 8th at the Draper Gymnasium in Hopedale from 8am to 12pm. About 160 Hopedale High School juniors and seniors will participate in the event all managed by the FinFit team with support from DECA. In addition, there will be over 30 volunteers from local companies manning booths and offering financial advice to students.
At the Financial Fitness Fair, students will apply their financial knowledge in a fun and interactive environment while aiming to manage their funds correctly. Students will do many different things including visit human resources, choose their bank account, create and balance a budget, receive and utilize credit scores, and make all major expenditure decisions that an adult in their mid-20's will face.
Prior to the fair the FinFit team organized advisory sessions during school hours, in which students learned financial skills that are applicable to them in the near future. In addition, the students learned about logistics of the fair and what they should do to prepare. The fair mirrors a professional environment by implementing a dress code for all students participating. Students will even receive the average starting salary of the occupation of their choice in the Worcester County area to maximize the accuracy for all participants.
“I truly believe that if students are financially literate, they can change their lives. With the help of three dedicated seniors (Andrew Doran, Benjamin Tahmoush, and Joshua Weaver), the training thus far and event are going to be a fantastic hands-on learning experience for both the Class of 2018 and 2019,” stated Talitha Oliveri. “The FinFit4life Fair is an event that will shape their future views on finances and the reality of adult life. I can’t think of a better way to educate future generations.”