By Brooke Loring
WHRHS Student Intern
It seemed like enough — $536.28, was how much I had in my bank account, after paying for a month’s worth of rent, insurance, student loans, groceries, a late credit card payment and more. Many of my classmates believed that to be a good thing, but the adult volunteers and teachers thought otherwise.
After being given an occupation that fit our interests, and a net monthly income, the senior class of Whitman-Hanson got to take a step into the real world Wednesday, Oct. 10.
The Credit for Life Fair has been an event at Whitman-Hanson for four years now, and gears students, specifically seniors, toward preparing for their financial future.
“Today you are going to get a chance to learn by doing,” was how WHRHS principal, Dr. Christopher Jones, put it.
The fair has been prepared for since the spring by school officials, the WHRHS Business department, as well as parents and funded by a variety of sponsors including the Panther Education Trust, Mutual Bank, Jack Conway Real Estate, and many more.
Held in the school gym, students had to use their monthly income to successfully pay for a month of housing, insurance, credit and lending, student loans, food, transportation, retirement plans, and luxuries, without going into debt — a sort of mash-up between the board games of Monopoly and Life.
Students were also able to win prizes and gift cards, as part of a raffle.
At the end of the fair, many students reflected on what they had learned. For example, one student, Morgan Kerins, believed the whole event to be, “a kind of eye opener.”
Savannah Hyde was also thankful for the experience.
“I like how much information we got about everything,” she said. “We’ll definitely be more prepared for the future.”
Others like Ashley O’Brien, who didn’t know what to expect, admitted that it changed her mind about her future plans, but for the better.
“It made me realize which careers will work best for me,” O’Brien said.
As a student that participated in the event, I can say for sure that it was a wake-up call. Many of us students had considered finances to be a problem to be solved later. Little did we know how fast life actually moves. The Credit for Life Fair taught us how to stay on budget, but most importantly, it taught us how to prepare for the future.
The WHRHS Credit for Life Fair was sponsored by Mutual Bank, Massachusetts Division of Banks, Granite State Development Corp., Panther Education Trust, Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, Jack Conway Real Estate, Eastern Insurance, Bridgewater Savings Bank, Edelman Financial Services, Webster Bank, and Residential Mortgage Services.