This month we are pleased to share our latest volunteer profile on Michael Sabella. Michael was recently appointed to CARE’s Board of Directors.
How did you learn about CARE?
A colleague spoke to me about CARE and how impressed she was with the work they had done. Given my interest in advocacy work and bankruptcy background, she offered to put me in touch with Tammy Hettinger, the Executive Director. I spoke with Tammy about the organization, its goals, and how it saw itself helping students and young adults with financial literacy, and I immediately said, “sign me up.”
Why do you think financial literacy is important?
I started my legal career as a bankruptcy law clerk to the Honorable Judge Dorothy Eisenberg (ret.) in the Eastern District of New York right around the time the Great Recession started in 2008. The Great Recession resulted in an avalanche of cases in bankruptcy courts around the country, including mine. I saw numerous debtors who did not appear to have financial literacy, sometimes lacking any understanding of their finances before they filed their bankruptcy petitions. While financial literacy may not have prevented their circumstances, I genuinely believe that it would have helped them to mitigate their circumstances, position them to emerge successfully from bankruptcy, and minimize the chances of them finding themselves in the bankruptcy court again.
What’s the one takeaway you want students to learn from CARE volunteers?
Financial literacy is not innate, and it is okay to have questions. The CARE volunteers are an amazing group of individuals from all walks of life that deal with financial issues and are excited to share what they have learned.
Why did you decide to serve on CARE’s Board of Directors?
As a CARE volunteer, I saw the dedication that others had to this organization and its cause. It helped inspire me to dedicate time to developing programs and ideas to further expand the organization’s reach. When I was asked to join the Board of Directors, I said yes because I was excited for CARE’s future and the opportunity to help it make such a positive and lasting impact on the lives of students across the country.
Which of CARE’s values most resonates with you?
All three of CARE’s values resonate with me: empowerment, inclusion, or collaboration. CARE’s efforts to educate students and young adults from all walks of life and backgrounds on financial literacy is vital to providing them with a crucial foundation that they can use to position themselves for financial independence and make informed, educated choices for themselves and their futures. This also goes to the inclusive and collaborative nature of the organization, with individuals from different aspects of the financial sector coming together to empower these students to make informed financial decisions for their future.
Each year, CARE volunteers, like Sharon, reach countless youth across the country with empowering information that can impact their lives. Are you interested in being a volunteer? Sign up here.