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Springfield College Students Teach Financial Savvy to Low and Middle Income Adults and Immigrants

April 1, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 1, 2009 – Springfield College business administration students are on a mission to teach low and middle income adults and immigrants to enhance their money-management skills and take advantage of banking services.

The fourth-year students of Springfield College Professor of Business Management Robert A. Fiore are presenting a series of eight classes, based upon the FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum, at the YMCA of Greater Springfield and Springfield College’s Locklin Hall. The classes are open to the public free of charge.

This will be the first presentation of the MoneySmart program in Springfield. Major banks have presented it in other major cities.

According to Ashley Noble, a graduate student who is a coordinator of the project, “The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health. The MoneySmart curriculum helps individuals build financial knowledge, develop financial confidence, and use banking services effectively. These skills are especially important in the current economic environment.”

The program is designed to help participants confidently use services of financial institutions, borrow responsibly, use a checking account, create and implement a budget, utilize savings and investment options, avoid predatory lending or other harmful practices, prepare for financial emergencies, build and maintain a good credit history, and use a credit card.

Seven classes remain in the eight-part series. At the YMCA of Greater Springfield, classes are scheduled for April 1 and 8 at 3 p.m. Classes in Springfield College’s Locklin Hall on Alden St. are scheduled for April 2, 9, and 16 at 4 p.m., and April 15 and 22 at 3 p.m.

Coordinating the program with Noble is Jessica Kaszeta. Both are Springfield College AmeriCorps graduate students who are fulfilling part of their commitments to provide 900 hours of community service this academic year.

Fiore said, “I’m proud of these students. They’re in the process of mastering the complex field of banking services while using their business acumen to benefit others in our community. Financial knowledge may help create upward economic mobility for the ‘un-banked’ and immigrant members of our community. Our students are putting the Springfield College philosophy of humanics into action – leadership in service to others.”

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