Young & Free Maine 30-Day Savings Challenge

The Rock 101.9 | By Jolene Wallace

Young & Free Spokester Maine, Mallory Lavoie, is challenging young adults to save more money this summer with the 30-Day $100 Challenge. Lavoie has crafted a Challenge that is easy-to-follow, holds participants accountable, and leaves you with $100 in your pocket at the end of 30 days.

Lavoie not only wants to get millennials involved, but credit unions too! Those who accept the challenge will stay accountable by sharing photos with Lavoie on Instagram—these photos could be of how the challenge is going, how they are saving money, or how they are spending smarter.

The Challenge started on July 1st and runs through the end of July. During the entire month of July, Lavoie will provide daily tips and motivation both on youngfreemaine.com and on Instagram at @YoungFreeME.  Credit unions are encouraged to follow along, participate in the Challenge, and leave comments on the blog and on Instagram. You can officially join #TeamOwnIt by following @YoungFreeME on Instagram for daily tips and motivation!

We had a chance to catch up with Mallory via phone. Here’s what she had to say!

Young & Free Maine Attends Week-Long Entrepreneurship Conference

Maine Credit Union League Update

Last week, your League was one of several sponsors for the Maine Startup & Create Week, a seven-day conference hosted in Portland focused on a variety of issues and topics relating to entrepreneurship. There were over 75 events including 45 presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and five keynote speakers. This week-long conference focused on Small Business, Food Innovation, and Scale & Growth.

Lots of millennials were among those attending the Maine Startup & Create Week in Portland. Young & Free Maine Spokester, Mallory Lavoie, attended a number of events including the one on successful career pivots which is pictured here. Maine's credit unions were one of the sponsors of the week-long event.

Lots of millennials were among those attending the Maine Startup & Create Week in Portland. Young & Free Maine Spokester, Mallory Lavoie, attended a number of events including the one on successful career pivots which is pictured here. Maine's credit unions were one of the sponsors of the week-long event.

Maine Startup & Create Week was hosted to showcase the vibrant, startup eco-system in Maine and connect the growing community of people inspired by the entrepreneurial success and potential of the city. Young & Free Maine Spokester, Mallory Lavoie, reported that research by experts has found that nearly 2/3 of millennials want to pursue an entrepreneurial path instead of climbing the corporate ladder. 

"It an exciting time to grow as an entrepreneur and business leader in Maine. There are so many people of all ages sharing the same experiences, proving mentorship, and learning from each other," said Mallory, who attended three days of this conference and six of the sessions offered throughout the week.  "The conference not only opened my eyes to the growing community of Maine entrepreneurs, it also positioned Maine's credit unions as a resource and partner for Maine's young and future entrepreneurs."

Be sure to watch Mallory's recap video on her experience at Maine Startup & Create Week by clicking here.

Saving You Money: Post Grad

WGME

For new grads, there's a lot of uncertainty. For the first time, they're out of college and truly on their own, learning how to make a living and support themselves. Figuring out finances is an important piece of that puzzle. First things first, start a budget.

"I think budgeting really allows you to get a handful of where your money is going," said Mallory Lavoie, the Young and Free Spokester for Maine Credit Union League. "Instead of living paycheck to paycheck, you're telling it where it needs to go, instead of wondering where it went."

Lavoie holds a unique position with the Maine Credit Union League to help young people manage their money. She said, when figuring out your budget, factor in your fixed expenses like rent and insurance. Then plug in your variable expenses like groceries and gas. Make sure you don't forget to leave some money for fun activities.

While you're paying off your bills, don't forget to put money aside. Start a rainy day fund separate from a savings account. "You'll have at least a few months of expenses in advance in case you get sick and can't work or in case something happens to your car," said Lavoie. "You'll have the funds to cover them." 

Retirement may seem forever away for new grads entering the workforce, but it's never too early to prepare for it. Ideally, graduates should try to contribute to their 401K and save ten percent of their income per year.

Once you have a good idea of what you're spending and saving, find ways to trim. Learning how to cook and bringing lunches to work will save you from spending money on dining out. If rent is too expensive, consider living with a roommate or your parents.

Consider that any income, is good income. Even if it isn't your dream job, you should find some sort of employment to make sure you receive a paycheck.

"It may not be ideal but there are always opportunities," said Lavoie. "Go in passionate about it and people will see it and notice and that will help give you some opportunities in the future."

+ Original article

Local Bands “Sound Off” in Bangor

WABI TV5 | By John Krinjak

Five area bands battled it out in Bangor Friday, for more than just bragging rights.

The event, sponsored by Maine’s Credit Unions, aims to give one lucky act the chance to take their music to the next level.

“Well we all go to UMaine Augusta,” said Jared Wilkinson of Sassquatch.

“We’ve been playing together probably like five, six years,” said Mike Wellington of The Rotating Taps.

“it’s a good opportunity to get our name out there,” said Travis Wibby of The Banner Year.

The annual Sound Off live audition gives up-and-coming artists a shot at recording an album and performing live in Portland.

“It would be huge,” said Wendell Scott of The Trendy Robots. “It would mean a lot,” said bandmate Jordan Trasko.
“It’d be crazy. I’ve wanted to record for a long time,” said Adam Scott, a solo artist from Oakland.

“They’re judged on their appeal to the demographic, so a young crowd, also their performance quality, their performance ability and the quality of their sound,” said Mallory Lavoie of Young and Free Maine.

These artists come from all over Maine, and all across the musical spectrum.

“We’re straight up pop punk,” said Phil Boyce of The Banner Year.

“Jazz, rock and funk, and just tried to mix it all together.” said Jared Wilkinson of Sassquatch.

“I play a lot of acoustic, singer-songwriter type stuff,” said Adam Scott.

“It’s like folky alternative pop rock indy stuff,” said Sam Chase of The Rotating Taps.

“We play like an indie electronica type of music. We do a lot of dance grooves,” said Wendell Scott of The Trendy Robots.

After some serious deliberation by the judges, the winner was revealed.

We’re here here with the winner, the Sassquatches. They’re excited about a thousand dollar gift card to record here at Maine Street Studios and the chance to perform at the Old Port festival in Portland this summer.

They’re hopeful this chance will take them to the next level.

“I don’t see the limit to where this band can go. I really do believe in it. It’s awesome,” said Wilkinson.

+ Original article

Vote For Local Music with the Sound Off Competition

94.3 WCYY | By Mark Curdo

Maine’s Credit Unions / Young & Free Maine are teaming up with WCYY again to help local music move forward. Want to help us support local music? It’s easy! 

Visit YOUNGFREEMAINE.COM and check out the Sound Off Music Competition. Bands and solo artists between the ages of 18-25 submitted their original video or song recently and now the batch of candidates are ready for you to vote on who you believe in the most!

CLICK RIGHT HERE to make your pick for who should win $1000 in studio recording time AND a spot to perform live on the WCYY stage at the Old Port Festival this summer.

Just CLICK ON THE PAGE and you can listen to all the artists before you make your pick! There’s a sound for everyone; rock, hip hop, alternative, jam, soul, acoustic and more. Get behind these up and coming artists. A little support goes a long, long way to local musicians trying to get their music heard.

You have until February 11th to vote. Let your friends know!

VOTE HERE when you are ready!

+ Original article

Local Musicians Last Chance to “SOUND OFF”

94.3 WCYY | By Mark Curdo

Local musicians between 18-25.. Do you make your music or with a band? Interested in free studio time and a spot on stage at the Old Port Festival? Check this out ASAP!!

Time runs out today at 5pm to sign up!

To find out about the Sound Off Music Competition and to sign up… click right here!

Young people, check out Young & Free Maine to help get ready for going it on your own as you get older. Simple & easy tips to help you save & manage your money and do the things you need to do to keep Maine moving forward! click right here!

Powered by Maine’s Credit Unions and 94.3 WCYY!

+ Original article

Maine CUs' hunger relief walk concludes in Orono

CUNA

The 13th annual Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger Walking Tour concluded Wednesday with a special ceremony at $239 million-asset University CU, Orono.

The new main office of University CU, Orono, Maine, served as the finish line for the 13th annual Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger Walking Tour. From left: Matt Walsh, president/CEO, University CU; Jon Paradise, Maine Credit Union League vice president of governmental and public affairs; and Brenda Davis, the hunger relief advocate whose six-week trek took her to all 16 Maine counties. (Maine Credit Union League Photo)

The new main office of University CU, Orono, Maine, served as the finish line for the 13th annual Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger Walking Tour. From left: Matt Walsh, president/CEO, University CU; Jon Paradise, Maine Credit Union League vice president of governmental and public affairs; and Brenda Davis, the hunger relief advocate whose six-week trek took her to all 16 Maine counties. (Maine Credit Union League Photo)

Brenda Davis, director emeritus of Cross Roads Ministries, an Old Town, Maine-based hunger relief agency, once again partnered with the state's credit unions to raise awareness about the severity of hunger in Maine.

Since leaving Augusta on Oct. 24, Davis covered more than 1,500 miles, with roughly 700 miles of that on foot. She visited all 16 Maine counties and a record 83 communities.

The ceremony was covered by WABI-TV of Bangor, Maine, and other media outlets.

Jon Paradise, Maine Credit Union League vice president of governmental and public affairs, told WABI-TV that even as Maine's credit unions work diligently to raise more money, the hunger problem continues. " But as long as there's a problem of hunger in Maine, Maine credit unions will be working to do all that we can," Paradise said.

The Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger contributed nearly $30,000 over the course of the tour, donating to food pantries in each of the communities. Since 1990, the campaign has raised and distributed more than $5.3 million.

This year, Maine's Young and Free spokester, Mallory Lavoie, joined Davis for the final stretch of the journey from $48 million-asset Brewer FCU to University CU.

While on the road, Davis collected stories about hunger to shed light on the struggles Mainers face every day.

Nearly 14% of Maine's population is identified as food insecure, and more than 40% of kids under the age of 12 show some evidence of hunger.

+ Original article

Young & Free Maine Receives Boost From Radio Station’s Facebook Page And Email Blast

WJBQ 97.9 FM

Popular Portland-based contemporary hit radio station, Q-97.9, recently provided a boost to the Young & Free Maine program by posting an article highlighting Mallory Lavoie as the new Spokster on its Facebook page. The page has more than 30,000 Likes, and the station also sent the article to its more than 20,000 email subscribers. “Great exposure and publicity for Young & Free Maine with the age group we are trying to reach,” remarked your League’s VP of Corporate Marketing, Debra Trautman.

Awards Banquet Is ‘Red Carpet’ Night For New Spokester

News & Views from the Maine Credit Union League

After having competed in pageants, as well as competing in figure skating competitions for many years, Mallory Lavoie was used to performing.So, it was no surprise that when she was introduced under the bright lights at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland to the nearly 600 attendees to the Maine CU League’s Annual Awards Banquet as the new Young & Free Maine Spokester, she was at ease.

From one young to another, Lauren Reeves, the former Young & Free Maine Spokester, hands the coveted keys to the ‘Green Machine,’ the Young & Free Maine car, to the new Spokester, Mallory Lavoie, after Lavoie was introduced as the new Spokester at the League’s Annual Awards Banquet.

From one young to another, Lauren Reeves, the former Young & Free Maine Spokester, hands the coveted keys to the ‘Green Machine,’ the Young & Free Maine car, to the new Spokester, Mallory Lavoie, after Lavoie was introduced as the new Spokester at the League’s Annual Awards Banquet.

Mallory was awarded the position after receiving the most public votes, as well as for her suitability for the job through the “If I were a Spokester” phase of the competition.Mallory graduated from the University of Maine with a B.A.in Journalism and French in 2012, before beginning work for the Indian Island Elementary and RSU 26 school systems.She says that her understanding of 18 to 25 year olds in the state makes her the right fit for the job.Through fun and entertaining videos, blogs and interviews across all social media platforms, she says she will help this generation answer tough financial questions through basic money-managing skills and real-life situations.This new adventure will allow her to do just that, as she hits the road to explore the state and all its credit unions have to offer her generation.“I am looking forward to connecting with people my age about finances and to let them know that it doesn’t have to be a headache, especially with credit unions,” Lavoie told the audience.

“We were extremely impressed by the quality of the content our finalists created, as well as the effort they put into campaigning for this coveted position,” John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League, said.“Through the combination of her videos, blog entries, and her skilled performance in media interviews, Mallory was a stand-out applicant, and proved that she has the writing skills, on-air presence and ability to communicate with Maine’s 25 and under crowd that make her an obvious choice for this exciting opportunity.” 

As the spokesperson for Young & Free Maine, Mallory will work on behalf of Maine’s credit unions in a year-long contract with salary.She will serve as a reporter and advocate for her age group, attending events and creating daily online content including blog articles and videos to keep YoungFreeMaine.com an information hub for the 25-and-under crowd in Maine.She has also been outfitted with tools of the trade, including a digital video camera, smart phone with a paid contract for the year, and a Mac Book Pro laptop, which she will be able to keep at the end of her term.She was also handed the keys to the Young & Free Maine Chevy Cruze, which she will have use of during her term.

Mallory won the position after an intense competition with her fellow finalists, Alexis Albert, a 24-year-old from Old Orchard, and Andrew Soucy, a 20-year-old from Biddeford.

The search for the Young & Free Spokester is part of a greater initiative for 18 to 25 year olds called Young & Free Maine.It includes a financial headstart with a new account called the free4ME Account, designed with 18 to 25 year olds in mind.Maine is the only New England state to offer this program, which has proven successful in connecting with Gen Y in regions throughout North America.

For more information, visit www.YoungFreeMaine.com.

Young & Free Maine Spokester Spotlight – Mallory Lavoie

WJBQ 97.9 FM

Young & Free Maine is brought to you by Maine’s Credit Union. Their mission is to provide financial services customized for the 18- to-25 crowd. Each year they nominate a “Spokester” to be the voice, and the face, for this crowd. Learn more about this year’s Spokester, Mallory Lavoie and how Young & Free Maine can work for you or your kids!

Young & Free Maine Spokester – youngfreemaine.com

Young & Free Maine Spokester – youngfreemaine.com

Mallory Lavoie was voted this year’s Young & Free Maine Spokester. She is tasked with translating financial “mumbo jumbo” into plain English in order to help young adults be fully prepared for “the real world.” She’ll do this by traveling around the state speaking with young adults and utilizing blogs and social media to connect to with them. Connect with Mallory here, learn more about Maine’s Credit Unions and how Young & Free Maine can help you!

Mallory joined Q97.9′s Rob Steele during our live broadcast at The Pier at Old Orchard Beach to talk about all of her exciting things going on! Listen here:

Young & Free Maine Spokester Malorie Lavoie (far right) with Rob Steele & Holly from Q97.9 at Old Orchard Beach

Young & Free Maine Spokester Malorie Lavoie (far right) with Rob Steele & Holly from Q97.9 at Old Orchard Beach