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Surging Demand for M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program Sparks Call for Volunteers

Monday, December 10, 2012

The M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program -- a public service partnership between the Boston Bar Association and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts -- expects to reach over one thousand students in 13 Massachusetts Public Schools in 2013. This represents more than a doubling of the students served in 2012.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to provide such an important life skill to this very diverse population," says BBA Public Service Manager Sonia Shah. "This will be the first time since this program began as a pilot project at the Dorchester Academy of Public Service in 2008 that we need to recruit significant numbers of volunteers to meet the demand."

The boost in demand for 2013 can be attributed to the BBA's strong, collaborative relationship with the Boston Private Industry Council, and also to a suggestion by a BBA member living in Sharon, MA that Sharon High School provide the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy course to every senior. For a summary sheet of modules, click here.

The BBA's relationship with PIC developed over years of working together on the BBA Summer Jobs Program, which provides enrichment opportunities for diverse students in Boston’s Public High Schools. Ordinarily taught between January and March, the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program in 2008 began being offered to the Summer Jobs students well.

During the summer of 2012, BBA volunteers and U.S. Bankruptcy judges also taught this financial literacy course to PIC Summer Jobs Students working at Sovereign and Citizens Banks and to the Nelson Fellows at the Federal District Court.

"We're going to need some 100 new volunteers, and as always we'll convene a training session to make our volunteers feel confident about what they're doing," said Shah. The training session will be held at the BBA on January 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. and all curriculum material will be provided. To register for the training session, click here.

Volunteers for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program need not be bankruptcy lawyers. Volunteers in past years have included law firm professional staff.

For more information about the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, please contact Katie D'Angelo at KDangelo@bostonbar.org

Bankruptcy Law Committees

  • Bankruptcy Communications Committee
    This committee publishes information relevant to the bankruptcy bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or writing for the newsletter or blog, contact the

    Contact Information

    Christopher M. Candon

    Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green-NH

    (603) 627-8168

    Kristin M. McDonough

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3436

  • Bankruptcy Education Committee
    Help develop relevant and innovative educational sessions led by a diverse group of talented speakers who cover both business and consumer bankruptcy issues. This committee promotes and oversees the educational programs for the Bankruptcy Section, including the monthly Brown Bag Lunch speaker series and several in-depth seminar programs.

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    Jeffrey D. Sternklar

    Duane Morris LLP

    (857) 488-4216

    Alex Frank Mattera

    Demeo, LLP

    (617) 263-2600

  • Bankruptcy Membership Committee
    This committee aims to increase participation in the Section through outreach activities.

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    Natalie Sawyer

    Macken Toussaint

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3461

  • Bankruptcy Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active on the legislative front. Often times, bankruptcy attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.

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    Richard L. Levine

    Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC

    (617) 778-7575

    Michael J. Pappone

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-1940

  • Bankruptcy Public Service Committee
    This committee organizes the annual Chapter 7 Pro Bono trainings and the Reaffirmation Clinic. The committee works closely with practitioners and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to respond to needs identified in the community.

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    Meg McKenzie Feist

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5000

    Adam J. Ruttenberg

    Looney & Grossman LLP

    (617) 951-2800

  • Commercial Finance Committee
    This committee focuses on lending capital in commercial transactions.

    Contact Information

    William Scott McMahon

    Downes McMahon LLP

    (617) 600-8694

    John F. Ventola

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5085

  • Consumer Bankruptcy Committee
    This committee updates practitioners regarding changes and developments in Ch. 7 and Ch. 13 cases. In addition, it helps coordinate pro bono bankruptcy services in consumer matters.

    Contact Information

    Ann Brennan

    Ann Brennan Law Offices

    (781) 878-6900

    Kate Nicholson

    Parker & Associates

    (781) 729-0005

  • Consumer Finance Committee
    This a joint committee between the Financial Services and Bankruptcy Sections. This committee represents a collaborative effort to study, educate and review consumer finance products.
  • Financial Literacy Committee
    By volunteering for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, you will help high school students across Massachusetts learn to make informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. You can become involved by working on the committee to develop and grow the program or teaching at a school.
  • New Bankruptcy Lawyers Committee
    A part of the Bankruptcy Law Section, the New Bankruptcy Lawyers Committee addresses issues faced by new or relatively new practitioners of bankruptcy law.

    Contact Information

    Timothy John Carter

    Goulston & Storrs PC

    (617) 482-1776

    David Koha

    Casner & Edwards, LLP

    (617) 426-5900

  • Practice and Procedure Committee
    This committee serves as a liaison with the office of the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and considers local practice issues.

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    Guy B. Moss

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3466

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.