Millbury Credit Union

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, Grafton DECA members worked with representatives from CSR Financial, the Grafton Credit Union, Gaudette Insurance, and the Millbury Credit Union to enhance financial literacy for Grafton business students.

Those who attended participated in a lesson on the true costs of living on your own after graduating college. The event was designed by DECA students Lindsey Sawtelle, Nathan Margosian, and Cadrin Msumba, as part of their upcoming project for the 2015 Massachusetts State Competition. DECA is an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Students compete through written projects, tests, and role-play scenarios at the district, state, and international levels.

The financial literacy event provided students with an opportunity to make decisions about how to spend their money. After choosing a career, students were provided with their entry-level income and associated college debt. Then, they walked through various stations that forced them to make hard choices. Students learned that managing tuition debt, housing costs, transportation expenses, a cell phone bill, and many other living necessities was much more difficult than they expected. Professional members–Pete Cardoza from CSR Financial, Allan Villatoro from the Grafton Suburban Credit Union, Jamie DeCaire from Gaudette Insurance, and Tony Ramniou from the Millbury Credit Union–spoke to students about managing risk through insurance and the importance of saving, investing, and planning for retirement as a young adult. When students did not have enough money, they had to change their lifestyles and cut back on expenses in order to make their budget work. Explaining her experience during the event, one student said, “This was an eye opener to how much it costs to live and where my money should go. I should probably start saving now.”

The Grafton DECA Chapter currently has 43 members. The entire chapter has participated in some way to organize this event and will continue to promote financial literacy this year throughout the district and community. The Grafton DECA Chapter, lead by business teacher, Tammy D’Amato has been very successful and has provided many students with new opportunities in developing real world business skills. If you are interested in supporting our Grafton DECA chapter by becoming a professional member or mentor, please contact D’Amato at damatot@grafton.k12.ma.us

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