CARE: Credit Abuse Resistance Education

Volunteer Profile Series: Sharon Kopman

This month we are pleased to share our latest volunteer profile on Sharon Kopman from CARE Los Angeles.  Sharon has recently been appointed on CARE’s Board of Directors.

How did you learn about CARE?

I had heard about CARE at ABI events and then was asked by Jeff Pomerantz to join the Southern California Chapter Board several years ago. When Jeff Pomerantz recruited Leslie Medina in May 2018 to help the chapter, my opportunities to volunteer in the classroom increased exponentially.

What has surprised you the most in the years you’ve spent volunteering with CARE?

How interested the kids are in learning the information we provide; and the fact that schools do not traditionally teach anything about financial literacy. We constantly hear teachers say how they wish they had been taught this information when they were in school.

What question do you hear the most in the classroom?

Kids do not understand the difference between a debit card and a credit card so we get many questions around that concept. They are also surprised by the fact that your credit history can impact your life in so many ways – employment; rent; utilities, etc.

What’s the one takeaway you want students to learn from your presentation?

Try not to use your credit card unless you can pay it off monthly. If that is not possible, pay it off as quickly as possible. Also, the importance of creating a credit history early on.

What is your most memorable moment or favorite story of being a volunteer?

Every time I am in a classroom and kids line up to ask questions after the bell has rung, I count that as a win!

What message would you give to a volunteer just starting out?

Always add in personal stories and interact with/ask questions of the kids. Don’t just talk AT them. It creates energy in the classroom.

Why did you decide to serve on CARE’s Board of Directors?

I truly believe in the organization and what it is doing and I want to help in any way I can continue to grow the organization. I think the virtual events plus in-person events are going to be key to the future. I would like to see an in-person presentation and then tell the kids that in a month we will have a follow-up virtual game to see if they remember what they learned and if they were able to put any of it into practice. I like the two-pronged connection.

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.

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