What did you enjoy most about volunteering with the BBA Financial Literacy Program?

On Wednesday, February 26th, the BBA will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program , which is a collaboration between the BBA and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. The BBA will host a reception beginning at 5 p.m. to thank program volunteers who have taught over 3,300 students statewide how to make sound financial decisions.

As the excitement for this event builds, BBA Week asked the program's volunteers:

"What did you enjoy most about volunteering with the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program?"

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Eric Fullerton at efullerton@bostonbar.org.

Rachel Hershfang - Securities & Exchange Commission
"The kids! There’s nothing like standing up in front of a class of high-school students to make you appreciate how easy we have it when talking to judges and juries. It was so gratifying to see how, as they got into the material, the students really understood the personal implications of credit and interest rates. In my job, we too often see the down-side of the financial markets – people who have been scammed, or lied to – so it feels like an antidote to try to help kids start on the track toward financial stability and independence."

Jaime d'Almeida - Duff & Phelps, LLC
"Having kids come into class saying credit cards are evil, and walking out saying I need to start building my credit! So, I guess credit cards are evil and useful…kind of like a brownie sundae."

Elizabeth Katz, Co-Chair of Western MA Financial Literacy Program - Ostrander Law Office
"I've been volunteering for 5 years in Western Massachusetts. I find it most rewarding when many of the students are putting their hands up to answer my and the other volunteer's questions and also asking questions. That's when I believe that they are learning. So that's when I enjoy it the most. I often tell the students how lucky I think they are to be taught financial literacy because I wasn't taught financial literacy and had to figure it out."

Mark N. Berman – Nixon Peabody LLP
"It’s time to make sure that our students graduating from high school have at least a basic understanding of financial products, financial issues and tools available to help them cope. The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is making a difference by allowing us to bring our financial expertise to the aid of our students."

Catherine N. O’Donnell - Liberty Mutual Group
"I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet a group of young adults on the cusp of the next stage of their life and I hope that some of the financial pointers my colleagues and I shared with them will guide them as they prepare for college."

Warren Agin - Swiggart & Agin, LLC
"It's great meeting these high school seniors and seeing what they are thinking about doing after graduation. They have to think about so many new things - getting their first job, buying a car, maybe moving out of their parent's house for the first time - and I think the program really helps give them the tools to do that."

John Loughnane - Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
"The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program has been and continues to be instrumental in providing critical information to students and their families. The promotion of financial literacy is essential. It's wonderful to interact with individual students of all backgrounds in their classrooms and also to help welcome the students on occasion to the courthouse where the final session typically takes place. Additionally, my father taught in the Boston City schools for approximately 30 years - so I always enjoy walking into a school and experiencing the interaction with the students."

Amy Lipman-White - Lipman & White
"When you see the spark of understanding in a student’s eyes, it's like unlocking a secret with the power of knowledge and it's the greatest feeling when you’re the person providing the tools."

Lane N. Goldberg - Goldberg Law
"The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program is important and I enjoy the opportunity each year to visit a high school in Massachusetts and speak with students about important financial decisions that they will make throughout their lives. This year, I visited Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and I learned about the variety of vocational programs that are offered by the school. In speaking with students, I saw how motivated and determined they are to become successful in their future careers. I look forward to volunteering again next year."

Sarah Barr - Suffolk University Law School, J.D. Candidate 2014
"I enjoyed meeting high school students who were genuinely interested in financial education, and who were eager to engage in a conversation about how these concepts impact their choices every day. Their contributions to the class were extremely insightful, and their proactive participation in the program made the experience fun and rewarding."

Leigh McCloskey - The Bulfinch Group
"There are two aspects of volunteering for the financial literacy program that I enjoyed the most. The mission of the program is great and addresses the huge financial education gap present with young folks today. In preparing for and presenting the material to the students, I was able to practice my communication strategies for a different audience in a structured, low-pressure environment. I also met a couple like-minded people through volunteering who are excellent resources and whom I may not have met if not for the program!"

Michael Sugar - Attorney at Law
"I enjoyed teaching the students about how credit cards work. It was great to help the students understand that the appropriate use of credit cards can help them build the credit history that they will need to purchase a car or house later in life."