Posts Tagged ‘education’

Give The Gift of Education To Growing Families with MEFA

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

A child born in 2017 will enter college in 2035! As I anxiously await the arrival of my second child due February 6, 2017, thinking about college and the year 2035 feels like a lifetime far far away! Diapers and wipes and preparing for maternity leave seem more pressing than saving for college. Not that it’s not important to set my children up for success, but as far as priorities it’s low on the list. I’m sure I felt the same way when my daughter was born almost 12 years ago…and BAM she’s starting middle school in the fall! Seriously, when-did-that-happen?!

Pregnancy announcements can bring a rush of excitement and love to the expecting family, their extended family and friends. Gifts for new babies often include baby bottles, blankets, books, wipes and other baby essentials and fun baby gear. It’s no secret that newborns and young children go through many items like diapers and wipes. Did you know the average newborn will need ~10 diaper changes every day? As I was planning for how many diapers we’d need in the first three months, you can imagine my surprise with the number of diapers we’d need in -just- the first three months. Bring on the diapers!

While tangible baby essentials are absolutely necessary, what if the larger village surrounding expecting families thought about the long term success of babies in addition to short term needs? Instead of cards for our little one, I asked friends and families to gift us their favorite children’s book. Literacy has been a major part of my life and has unlocked many doors while providing hours of joy and content. It’s been a priority as a mom to instill a love of reading in my daughter and now in my second child as well. Will baby be able to read at birth? If only! Yet, I understand the benefit of literacy on young minds and the power it can provide in the future.

Communities surrounding growing families have many options to support parents and babies, and I encourage you to consider a gift of education to parents-to-be. It’s no secret that the cost of education continues to rise, making the reality of affording higher education seemingly out of reach for many families. I’ve been overwhelmed with the prospect of the cost of college, however it doesn’t have to be a hurdle that can’t be conquered. Think about how much savings you would have if families started saving in their child’s first year of life or even the second or third. It’s never too late to save -and- it’s never too early to start investing in the future. Small and calculated investments quickly grow over time, reducing the amount of money families have to borrow when they start college. With the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) specialists are available to support parents every step of the way, taking the guesswork out of college savings. Hear from other parents committed to setting their children up for success and join a larger community where savings is possible, with the right support. And don’t be afraid to get family and friends involved! Parenthood is one tough job and I firmly believe it takes a village!



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Dream BIG with the 2015 U.Fund Dreams Tour

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

U.Fund Dreams Tour Logo

I don’t know about you, but after the incredibly difficult winter we endured here in Boston, and around the country, I am more than excited for warmer weather and the deliciousness of SUMMER. Yes, it still exists people!! With summer fast approaching (June 21!!!!!) I’m busy finalizing summer camps, vaccinations, and hopefully a vacation! Summer is also a time I think a lot about my daughter’s future and education. The stress that accompanies the end of the school year is a bit scary. Every year she’s another year older, taller, more talkative, and closer to the big 1-8. I encourage my kiddo to fully enjoy her childhood – I have NO idea why she is so eager to grow up. I’ve had to remind her multiple times that being an adult is very, very overrated.

While I encourage her to hold onto her youth for as long as she can, I stay busy thinking about her future and how I can ensure I support her future dreams, whatever they may be. More than anything, I want to ensure that she has the opportunity to be anything and everything she wants to be. That’s why I’m thrilled to once again partner with Fidelity and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) as they gear up for their 2015 U.Fund Dreams Tour. I was excited to learn about MEFA’s U.Fund, the Massachusetts 529 college savings plan which offers tax- advantaged growth for parents saving for their child’s college education.

Last year I had the opportunity to attend a few of the U.Fund Dreams Tour events in and around greater Boston with my daughter and we LOVED it! What is a dreams tent you ask? A chance for your kids to see their dreams come to life. MEFA wants every kid to reach and imagine themselves in various occupations while providing parents with the necessary information and resources to ensure they can adequately support their children’s dreams. Considering my daughter calls the man who works in the oval office “Uncle Obama,” I wasn’t surprised when she decided she wanted to be President last summer while visiting a Dreams Tour tent.

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The Dreams Tour set is pretty cool. It has been redesigned this year to provide a whole new engaging experience for the entire family. It will have a GIF booth experience, incorporating illustrations of your child’s dream careers, which can be emailed and printed out for attendees to take home. Because thinking about your child’s future education can be overwhelming and confusing, Fidelity reps will be on site at these the events to answer any and all questions that parents (and kids!) may have. Parents leave with more information and resources, and kids can leave with some goodies and the photo they took.

This weekend we’re headed to the MayFair in Harvard Square to check out the first event of the 2015 U.Fund Dreams Tour! Be sure to check the MEFA website for updates on where the Dreams Tour tent will be over the summer and Fall. While not all of the events are free to enter, the U.Fund Dreams Tour Tent is open to all attendees who gain entrance to each event. Seriously, so cool!!



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How Do I Support My Daughter’s Bilingual Education?

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Even though I check off African American and Hispanic when I complete paperwork, I’ve never fully felt Spanish…even if I’m half Colombian.

My father and his family emigrated from Colombia and settled here in the great U-S-of-A. They all speak Spanish fluently and for them English is their second language. I grew up without my dad being in the picture and unfortunately that meant I didn’t learn at all about my Colombian heritage nor did I learn to speak Spanish. I remember being so irritated in high school when Spanish didn’t come naturally, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I embraced being half Colombian, but couldn’t pass my final Spanish exam. And now, my full name is quite Latin, as is my daughters, and once I open my mouth and tell people I’m Colombian, the immediately ask: Do you speak Spanish? And I always feel like a fraud.

I felt I missed out growing up without learning another language and when I was choosing schools for my daughter one thing was for sure – learning Spanish would be part of the curriculum, and she’d grow up bilingual.

My daughter has been enrolled in a dual-language immersion school since she was in Junior Kindergarten and is now in the 2nd grade. All of the teachers are fully bilingual, with many of them from Spanish speaking countries. Now that she’s in 2nd grade she has a full week of Spanish, where all students and staff speak in Spanish, and then a full week of English. The school strives to make the classrooms as diverse as possible and try their best to mix classrooms with half Spanish speaking students and half who speak English as a first language at home. Even though it’s a public school it’s quite competitive, and how Spanish is integrated within the curriculum is unlike any school around.

Read the rest of “How Do I Support My Daughter’s Bilingual Education?” and over on The Young Mommy Life.



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