By: Erica Cortes
All nine of the Los Angeles Community Colleges gathered together for a financial literacy fair Friday.
The event took place at Los Angeles Trade Tech Community College. All of the LACCD’s schools were represented, including East Los Angeles College.
LACCD partnered with MasterCard which included booths from all the nine schools. It included free food, beverages, raffles and a chance to win items. This included a chance to see the Dodgers.
The purpose of the event was to raise student awareness about how to deal with financial issues, and to gain knowledge on how to receive financial aid and scholarships.
Students also had the chance to learn how to manage a budget along with building their credit. “As they transition from high school to college, they can really learn how to budget their money, how to save and how to manage their spendings,” said Alexander Velasquez, ELAC’s Student Service Aide.
Velaquez said with more than 2,500 students registered it was a great turn out, given the short amount of time planning. Attending the event was encouraged for students in and outside the community.
Transportation was available for everyone from ELAC to LATTC and back. “What I want to gain from this experience is to learn more about credit card stuff and financial aid,” said Angie Glavez, a student from Los Angeles Community College. “I like that they taught us about money management and how we have to take care of bank accounts from fraud,” Galvez said.
Students had the chance to sign up for the Angeleno Mastercard to receive COVID-19 financial assistance. Students also had the chance to get $75 for getting vaccinated and up to $75 for a relative to get vaccinated as well.
Hourly seminars were held in the school booths. There were also fun activities during the event. “ With all the colleges being here, it also provides exposure to students so they can learn about other programs that are offered at different colleges that are not offered at the school that they are currently attending,” Velaquez said.
Seminars given at the event focused on giving information on skill building from experts to better take control of a student’s financial stability. This included using technology to make payment and even starting their business. MasterCard, the partner for this event, had their own booth to help students learn more about the difference between debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards.
“Cash is not the best or most secure way to manage your money. Technology is there to help you be safer and more convenient to manage your money,” said Mercedes Garcia, MasterCard’s Community Relations, Global Policy Affairs Vice President.
“If you don’t know how to manage your money then you will go broke or spend more money than you earn. You need to be smart and understand that you have to budget, not spend more of what you make, make good decisions, save and invest when the time comes,” said Garcia.