Area middle schoolers gathered at Pinkerton Academy on May 4 for The CU4 Reality Financial Literacy and Career Fair, a short crash course on financial reality.
Students participated from West Running Brook Middle School and St. Thomas Aquinas Schools in Derry and from Chester Academy, Hampstead Middle School, Auburn Village School and the Henry Moore School in Hooksett.
The students completed a career study unit at their schools and chose occupations based upon their interests. They determined their future estimated income level and then made a list of what they thought they could afford on that projected salary. They budgeted for the kind of house or apartment they could live in, for the kind of car they could buy and for a cell phone plan they could afford on that estimated salary.
Then they met with volunteers from local financial institutions, St. Mary’s Bank, Service Credit Union and Triangle Credit Union, at a mock village to “purchase” the items they needed and wanted within the confines of their predetermined budgets.
Finally, Pinkerton Academy students interested in careers in finance and enrolled in the Financial Academy, met with the eighth graders to fine tune their budgets and make any needed adjustments.
Douglas Cullen, manager of career services at Pinkerton Academy, said he is pleased with the growing relationship between Pinkerton Academy and the local middle schools that helps students explore what they want to do in the future in a financially realistic way.
He also noted that the program is provided to the local schools at no cost by the generosity of St. Mary’s Bank, Service Credit Union and Triangle Credit Union.