Welcome to another installment of our "$cholar Talk" series. This segment features posts written by Scholars of our "Invest-in-Success" program! It provides a platform for our students to share their experiences, discuss financial topics relevant to teenagers, and provides you a chance to connect with them.
Without further adieu, please welcome our scholar-blogger Adrian Andino, Invest-in-Success, Class of 2014.
My experience as an Invest-in-Success scholar has been one that I will never forget. Learning about personal finance didn't seem exciting to me at first but once the program began I became really engaged. Finance Academy, our monthly sessions on Saturday mornings, became something that I looked forward to rather than dreaded. While many of my peers were still sleeping I was up learning about budgets, stocks, and bonds.
Before Invest-in-Sucess, I viewed saving as unimportant, something that I could put off for a later day. But today, as the proud three-time winner of the Most Valuable Saver award, I can attest that saving is in fact important. Once I actually learned how valuable saving is I started saving vigorously. I saved anything from a single penny to $20. Just knowing that the money could potentially help me in a future situation made it that much more important. Beginning the process of saving is the difficult part, but once I started saving it became like second nature to me.
Now that I have graduated from the Invest-in-Success program and embarked on the next phase of my life, I've taken a step back to reflect on the impact that D.R.E.A.M. has had on me. The Invest-in-Success program has taught me a lot, not only about finance but also about myself. The program motivated me to work harder and excel, especially in school. I was encouraged, and often forced, to step outside of my comfort zone. Summer enrichment programs are mandatory for scholars of the program. Accordingly, I chose to study abroad in Italy during the summer of my junior year. Prior to participating in the Invest-in-Success program studying abroad in high school was only a dream. My experience in Italy taught me to try new things and really make the best out of each and every opportunity that is presented to me.
In closing, my biggest takeaways from the program are to continue to save, to work hard and try new things. These three takeaways are exactly what I did during the program. Overall, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a member of the inaugural class of the Invest-in-Success program. To me, being a scholar was much more than just learning about finance. The Invest-in-Success program was a personal journey and I grew tremendously during this experience. I will always be grateful for what D.R.E.A.M. has done for me and all that I have achieved and learned as a result.
About the Author: Adrian Andino is a member of the Invest-in-Success Class of 2014. He is a graduate of All Hallows High School in the Bronx, NY. He will be attending the University of Buffalo in the fall of 2014.
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