Shari Smith, payment services manager with PeoplesChoice Credit Union, talks to Thornton Academy student Ina Vu at a Financial Fitness Fair at the school on Wednesday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

Shari Smith, payment services manager with PeoplesChoice Credit Union, talks to Thornton Academy student Ina Vu at a Financial Fitness Fair at the school on Wednesday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

SACO — Navigating your way to adulthood can be daunting, but teaching students to face obstacles that lie ahead now, can help them make smarter decisions later.

Members of the junior class gathered at Linnell Gym for a Financial Fitness Fair on Wednesday morning. Prior to the event, each student had declared what they wanted to do for a career in the future. Students received a binder with salary information for their desired career path.

A series of booths were set up in the gym, each representing a different life expense such as housing, vehicle or clothing. Students went to the different stations, working with volunteers from area credit unions to determine what their cost of living would be and to create a monthly budget that doesn’t exceed their income.

Student Luke Gosselin, sat down with a chart of his costs and a calculator after visiting the different booths. Gosselin said he wants to be an environmental engineer. “I don’t make as much as I thought,” he said. Gosselin said in order to meet expenses in his mock life plan, he’ll have to compromise and buy a different car than he had wanted.

Student Ina Vu said she liked the activity because it was very specific in detailing what the costs of adulthood would be.

“This is teaching them about life,” said event organizer Brenda Piecuch, vice president of compliance at PeoplesChoice Credit Union. The fair teaches students about the importance of good credit and what choices they may have to make if they pursue a career in their chosen field, she said.
Piecuch said similar fairs have been done at other high schools as well as the Maine Correctional Center.

Linda Verville, career development and community outreach associate with Thornton Academy, said the fair gives students a good overview of all the costs they’ll face as adults. She said though it might seem kind of overwhelming, it’s good for students to have their eyes open and what to expect in the future. Students can make mistakes now on a mock life plan, she said, so they have a reference to draw from later in real life.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: