Credit For Life Fair Comes To SHS

SHS educates students on financial literacy

Credit For Life Fair Comes To SHS

Kelly Granatino, Staff Writer

On Friday, October 22nd, Scituate High will host their first-ever “Credit for Life” fair, educating all juniors and seniors about financial responsibility and personal finance in the real world. This fair will further the high school’s already strong business program, which offers popular classes as well as an award-winning DECA program.

Though this fair is new for Scituate, neighboring towns have been teaching students financial independence for years. Marshfield High School has been hosting its own “Smart With Money Fair” since 2014. MHS is lucky enough to have their fair 100% sponsored by McNamara Financial group–a local Marshfield, family-run financial services company that additionally runs their own podcast and supports the local community. The fair is also aided by local businesses and volunteers from the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce.

Ashley Stanford, MHS business teacher, says “At first the fair was only open to MHS business students, but with such great interest and success, [it was] opened up to all MHS seniors.” The goal of the Marshfield event, as explained by MHS guidance counselor Susan Smith, is to “teach students about real-world finances” and “get familiar with the terminology.”

One of the highlights of the Marshfield fair is the distribution of several $1,000 scholarships to students who apply for and finish the fair with a successful budget sheet, retirement analysis report, a reflection of their experience, and a short essay explaining what “Smart with Money” means to them. 

Scituate special education teacher Joe Pumphrey, who helped organize the Scituate event with SHS staff members Jacqui Frongello and Steve Howley, explained that teachers were interested in starting a similar program during the spring of 2020, after hearing about the fair and visiting Whitman-Hansen High School’s “Credit For Life Fair.”

The initiative for Scituate’s first fair is to teach students about the financial situations they will encounter by the age of 25. Prior to the October event, juniors and seniors were asked to fill out a form asking what they hope to do in the future. Some of the choices included elementary school teachers, political scientists, or doctors.

When students arrive at the fair on October 22nd, they will be handed a state auto-filled sample sheet with the average salary in MA at the age of 25 based on the occupation students pre-selected. Throughout the day, students will visit stations where they will encounter situations when they are forced to make a finical decision. At the conclusion of the fair, students will add up their costs and see if they are living within their budgets, and if not, what decisions need to be altered. 

This fair, which is completely funded by private sponsors, Scituate Education Foundation (SEF), and South Shore Bank, will be run by both international and local volunteers. The goals of this fair include teaching students financial independence, the importance of financial decisions, and the value of bringing a community together.