By Abby Shields Contributing Writer
The Financial Literacy program is being re-established with a 5-year long plan advised by program coordinator Sarah Hinman designed to help better educate students about finances in college and prepare them for life after UMF.
“Our mission is to increase the financial literacy of UMF students by providing them with student led informational programming regarding personal finance, student loan borrowing, default prevention, and financial aid,” said Hinman.
Hinman was hired in April as a program coordinator and hand selected eight peer educators: Abby Waceken, Austin French, Bailey Parenteau, Caleb Grover, Isaac michaud, Jake Leonard, McKayla Marois and Sarah Veilleux. When August arrived, Hinman and the peer educators came to campus for a week long training.
The program started the first day of school, with the goal being for Hinman and her team to reach across the UMaine system. The educators at UMF, known as the #finlitsquad, run the program, giving Hinman the opportunity to travel across Maine, educating other schools about financial literacy
Sarah Veileux, a junior at UMF, is happy to be apart of the team. “I came into this program really just out of being at the right place at the right time when I met the coordinator, Sarah Hinman, at Mantor Cafe through a mutual friend,” said Veileux. “We really just connected as people, she thought I would be a great fit for the program and liked my energy for taking boring topics and making them fun and interesting, and now I’m a Financial Literacy Peer Educator.”
All the members of the team bring something different to the table. “Every educator is expected to perform the basic duties of the program, but they also all bring their own unique personality and skill sets” said Hinman. Whether it be being really good at understanding how to save, knowing how to make the most out of outdoor rec salary, or having experience with investing and budgeting, everyone has a skill they bring to the program.
Makayla Marois, a junior at UMF, is happy to help students in whatever way she can. “My main focus is on saving money. I chose this because of my own personal savings journey that I believe to be successful,” said Marois. “However, I am trained to help students conquer all of their financial demons, just as every peer educator in the program is.”
“Our program does a wide array of programming: once a month we host a pizza power in The Landing where we will have pizza and discuss a financial literacy topic for an hour,” said Hinman.
They also will host special days around FAFSA, reaching out to the local middle/high schools and community colleges and plan to work with the CAs putting on programming throughout the dorms. “We would love to work with clubs, sports teams, and faculty to present to a wide variety of student groups,” said Hinman.
As for the years to follow if anyone would like to join there will be a hiring process that consists of an application as well as a interview.
Their next campus event will be a Pizza Power Hour hosted on Wednesday Oct. 17 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The topic will be on “the 5 steps to making a budget in college.”
If students have questions the best way to contact this program is by emailing the coordinator, Sarah Hinman at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stopping by the office in room 201 Franklin Hall.