Lawrence Tech provides another ‘spokester’ for Young & Free Michigan
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
For the second year in a row, a Lawrence Tech student has been named “spokester” for the Young & Free Michigan program at Michigan First Credit Union. Lawrence Tech architecture major Austin Chapman seems like a natural for the role because he has already performed many of the same tasks as a mentor in Lawrence Tech’s First Year program and as a student counselor in the Office of Admissions.
Young & Free Michigan was established last year to provide young adults up to 25 years old useful information about personal finances. The first spokester was Janelle O’Hara, who had just graduated from Lawrence Tech.
“As a very active partner with Lawrence Tech, Michigan First has always has always been a strong advocate for all forms of education, but most especially financial education,” said Linda Douglas, vice president of marketing at Michigan First Credit Union. “We’re thrilled to announce Austin Chapman as our new spokester – our second outgoing, energetic and dynamic Lawrence Tech student as the face of the program.”
In May, Chapman, 22, of Benton Harbor won the year-long job that comes with a $30,000 salary and a car. He was selected from a field of 15 finalists who did well in the online public voting. He started his new job May 29.
“I see this as an opportunity to connect with my age group. I have a passion for mentorship and community involvement,” Chapman said. “I like speaking in public and helping people out, so it seems like an ideal job for me. It also looks like tons of fun.”
The fun part for Chapman starts with the 2011 Chevy Cruze that he gets to drive for a year with all the gas provided. Michigan First has also equipped him with a Mac Book Pro computer, a HD camcorder, and a smart phone.
As the Young & Free Michigan spokester, Chapman is offering “tips and tricks” to young adults for handling personal finances. In addition the financial information and advice on youngfreemichigan.com, he is posting on Facebook and Twitter, blogging, and creating videos.
“My age group tends to ignore finances, pushing them off to the side and figuring they will take care of themselves. A lot of bad things can happen that way,” Chapman said. “We are encouraging them to take ownership of their finances and realize that it can be fun.
“What I will be discussing is not rocket science. There are practical tips and tricks. Students need to know how to pay for textbooks, balance a personal budget, stay in control, and be aware of finances,” he said.
Chapman plans to attend many community events during the summer, and got started with the Hoedown in downtown Detroit. He will visit college campuses around the Detroit area when students return for the fall semester.
“The best way to get the message across is connecting on a personal level and building trust,” he said.
Chapman will continue to take classes at Lawrence Tech as a part-time student, although he expects his Young & Free Michigan job to push back his graduation to 2014. He still plans to be involved the First Year mentorship program, Discovery Days, and Orientation.