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Financial Education Makes a difference

There are moments in life when a small amount of guidance and understanding can be so impactful that it changes someone’s life. At New Dimensions, we strive to show our members how to navigate their finances so that they are living their best lives—right now!

We have had examples through the years, but in 2020 we gained a lot of ground in the community and many have some amazing stories to tell about how a few of our members finally achieved their goals.

One example of that success is with a member, Randy Upton, who met with Carrielyn Reynolds, Financial Education Coordinator, and explained to her his dream to own his own home. After scheduling a one-on-one appointment to review Randy’s budget, Carrielyn found that Randy had been paying an extremely high-interest rate on an auto loan from a different financial institution. Fast forward to a few tweaks in Randy’s budget including a new loan with NDFCU for his auto with a much lower rate and shorter term, saving him nearly $4,000 in interest on the lifetime of his loan, and a meeting with a mortgage lender and Randy found that his dream of owning a home came to life. He worked hard and made his goal a reality and we could not be prouder of his accomplishment.

In another example, Carrielyn visited the George J. Mitchell school and presented a financial education topic called “Wants Vs. Needs” with two 3rd grade classrooms. The teachers, Mrs. Gorman and Mrs. Fitton were thrilled with the curriculum that the students so readily absorbed, and they stated, “We could not have asked for a more appropriate presentation to respond to our economics curriculum at this grade level. Your enthusiasm, interactive approach, and fantastic visual aids made for a very successful and engaging experience for all students.  It is so refreshing when members of our community reach out to help educate our children.”

In this last example, Victor Esposito Jr, JMG Master Specialist of Vassalboro Community School wanted to speak out about his positive experience with Carrielyn Reynolds, who worked to bring imperative financial education to Vassalboro Community School. According to Victor, “Carrielyn’s involvement was detrimental by forming appropriate grade level financial literacy in the middle school and because of her direction, our 6th -8th grade now has a comprehensive three-level financial literacy program.” Similarly, Victor stated, “The financial literacy program was designed to be an entire day of activities that had students and teachers talking about it for weeks after. We were impressed, not only because the program was designed with the appropriate grade-level curriculum but also with the engagement from our students. NDFCU even brought additional staff from other branches who volunteered their time to the kids learning experience. It was the best thing I’ve seen at both the high school and middle school levels.”

Another lesson, called Strawberry Café, where students had a $20 budget to work with which had to include food, tax, and the tip was done with the 6th and 7th graders in a virtual presentation (due to COVID) that was so impactful that the students could be heard saying things like, “I really learned a lot from this”, and “I stayed within my $20 budget”, “Now I know why we have a tax on food, and how we tip people who work in restaurants”.  A truly valuable life lesson!

Later Victor stated “I am so grateful for the help and support that I have gotten from New Dimensions and the help and direction from Carrielyn. I look forward to continued support in the future. Additionally, it shows me the commitment that New Dimensions has in keeping the community and our schools engaged in financial literacy and career opportunities. The partnership that Vassalboro Community School and JMG have developed with New Dimensions is truly valued and appreciated.”