Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union hosts successful Moneystrong for Life Fair for Lowell High School students

LOWELL, MA (April 2, 2015) — Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s fifth MoneyStrong for Life Fair, held Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, was a tremendous success. Approximately 350 Lowell High School students enjoyed an eye-opening experience regarding careers, income, and the high cost of being self-supporting.

The interactive fair involved 12th-grade students playing the roles of 25-year-old adults complete with assigned professions and annual salaries. They were required to work within a budget based on their monthly income and visit 14 different booths during the three-hour fair, making purchasing decisions at each booth using cash, credit or savings. They needed to rent an apartment, decide whether to have roommates, whether to purchase a car or buy a bus pass, buy auto and home insurance, shop for clothing required for their careers, purchase furniture, decide on cable television and Internet options, etc.

“The MoneyStrong for Life Fair fits in well with our mission of helping people make smart financial choices,” said Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “It is crucial for students to learn the skills necessary to navigate the twists and turns of life’s financial waters. We were pleased to provide them with an innovative and interesting way of gaining some real-life financial experience.”

Students were also presented with some unexpected scenarios, such as: losing their job, having babies, cars that needed extensive repairs, or receiving an unanticipated bonus at work. They then had to determine how to cope with these scenarios with the cash and credit available to them.

As the final step, students were required to visit the credit-counseling booth where they had their credit checked and discovered whether they were living within their budgets. Many had to make changes to their lifestyles when it was discovered they were spending far more money than they were earning.

A total of 70 people, including employees from Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and community partners, volunteered to assist students in their decision-making processes. Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union underwrote the cost of the event, including lunch for students and volunteers.

Photo Caption: Lowell High School students share a laugh with Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union President and Chief Executive Officer Mark S. Cochran (second from left) at Jeanne D’Arc’s MoneyStrong For Life Fair at the Tsongas Center.

About Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union:

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union was established in 1912 and is a full-service, member-owned community-based financial cooperative with more than 68,000 members and $1.1 billion in assets. It operates seven full-service branches in Lowell, Dracut (2), Tyngsboro, Chelmsford, Methuen and Westford, Massachusetts; two high-school branches at Lowell High and Dracut High schools; a loan center in Lowell; and two mortgage centers in Chelmsford and North Reading.

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