Veteran’s Financial Literacy Program:
October 30, 2021 South Florida Event Was a Total Success!!!
The launch of the very first Veterans Financial Literacy Project in our State of Florida was a great success. Our Section made a strong showing for this event with the great number of BLS volunteer attorneys that showed up to make it all happen. The program had to pivot to basically a fully virtual event. The program was designed as a panel discussion. Members of the panel consisted of The Honorable Laurel M. Isicoff, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida, James Moon of Meland Budwick, and Carlos Sardi of Sardi Law.
The program started with welcoming remarks from Judge Isicoff, who was followed by a moving greeting video specially prepared and put together for this event by Brig. Gen. Charles Walker, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee. It then continued with the panel presentation on personal finances, credit scores, credit reports and other useful financial information about how to deal with debts and student loans. The presentation also went on to educate our veterans about debt collection and their rights for abusive practices under federal and state law. The event ended with a Q&A session, and, then broke into one-on-one sessions with the veteran clients paired with BLS volunteer attorneys.
The BLS had a vast pool of volunteers to assist with over 60 veteran registrants for this event. Indeed, we had more volunteer attorneys than veteran clients!! We are proud to report that the event was rated by the Broward Legal Aid, Legal Services of Greater Miami, and Mission United of Miami Dade and Broward Counties as an event that exceeded all expectations by every stretch of the imagination. We agree!
On behalf of the Pro Bono Committee and Financial Literacy Task Force, we want to thank the following individuals for showing up and their role in assisting the most needed members of our veteran community and commitment to pro bono service:
Ryan S. Cobbs
Christine M. Dimitriou
Allison J. Leonard
Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik
Detra Shaw Wilder
Joseph Van de Bogart
Steven R. Wirth
We also want to specially recognize the help and tireless work of Tara Trevorrow, Law Clerk to The Honorable Mindy A. Mora, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida. The presentation and event would not have run as smoothly without her.
Last, but not least, both Committees want to give a special thanks to Tracey Eller to have our webpage up and ready with useful information and training materials for our pro bono volunteers.
Again, we appreciate all the above individuals who made the event such a raving success. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are an inspiration to us all!
Carlos E. Sardi, Chair
BLS Financial Literacy Task Force
Amanda Finley, Chair
BLS Pro Bono Committee