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Financial fitness fair preps teens for life

AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — For the past 11 years, the Aroostook Chapter of Credit Unions, which includes Acadia FCU, NorState FCU and The County FCU, have worked side by side to host an annual financial literacy fair for Aroostook County high school juniors.

This year’s Financial Fitness Fair was held on Tuesday, May 22, at Loring Job Corps in Limestone, with more than 300 students participating. The financial literacy event was not just a learning experience but lots of fun as well.

Organizers assigned each participant a career and monthly income. Students visited booths with various expenses they would find in real life, such as transportation, housing, food, student loans, clothing, insurance and other day-to-day incidentals. Then, using a monthly budget tracker form, students calculated whether they could live within their means. They were given credit scores and even financial emergencies, requiring them to recalculate their budget.

Job Corps culinary students prepared bagged lunches for attendees, and all enjoyed fun and games with cash prizes available.

Students could also apply for the Aroostook Chapter of Credit Unions Scholarship, an award of $1,000 payable upon graduation from high school to be used at a school of higher learning.

Michelle McLaren-Toussaint, who attended the event in 2017 as a junior from Fort Kent Community High School, received the 2017 scholarship. Chapter members presented her with the check on May 22. She addressed those at the fair and encouraged them to apply.

To be eligible, applicants must have attended the Financial Fitness Fair; must plan to enroll in a two-year or four-year college or university; must be a member, or have a parent who is a member, of a credit union in Aroostook County; and must fill out the scholarship application in its entirety and submit it to any of the three credit unions by June 30. Applications are available from all three credit union websites.               

For more information, contact the chapter’s chairperson, Denise Duperre at NorState FCU, by calling 1 (800) 804-7555.

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