My second semester as an AmeriCorps VISTA has been a great success. I’ve hosted multiple events and launched a website to help aid my Blue Devils to financial literacy. This semester also taught me the importance of communication and being transparent with my peers. Creating and setting up my events went a lot smoother and there was less hassle. Learning the tricks of the trade was essential to my success. I started the semester with tables in the high traffic areas of LTU to market my events and to give some basic information on subjects such a Financial Aid and Budgeting. I had music and incentives such as candy at my tables to engage more students. I believe this assisted in the success of my events this semester as well.
In February of 2017, Trinity Financial Coaching came to Lawrence Tech and spoke about preparing realistic budgets and the importance of creating a savings plan by paying yourself first. The audience was engaged and learned a lot from the coaches. Another event that was successful this semester during Money Smart Week (April 22-29) was “Geocache for Cache.” This event is themed around Geocaching which is a GPS based navigation hunt. Students were to read 8 posters focused on different areas of financial literacy, such as Student Loans, Financing a Car, Credit vs Debit Cards, etc. and answer questions regarding each poster to be entered in a drawing for a scholarship of $1,000 which was sponsored by local banks. We also held an ice cream social and had a festive DJ that drew more students to the event, making it a success.
In addition to these events I added a link onto the Lawrence Tech University website, to be launched in Fall 2017. The site showcases different PowerPoints with tips and tricks on budgeting for college students while also saving for the future. It also highlights different student discounts that can aid in saving the limited money that college students have to play with.
With two months remaining in my service, looking back on the VISTA experience, I have learned a great deal about myself and working at the collegiate level. AmeriCorps has taught me life lessons that I will carry with me into the next step in my life.
Each blog post is written by one of our program's VISTAs!