Got Credit? Partners with Tell-A-Vision Program at Long Branch High SchoolJun 27, 2023
Jose Rodriguez, an esteemed Long Branch High School (LBHS) alumnus, business leader, and motivational speaker, also known as "The Credit Dude," recently returned to his alma mater on June 5, 2023 on behalf of Got Credit? to inspire the students and speak on overcoming adversity, building credibility, and understanding the importance of good credit. Rodriguez's visit was arranged thanks to Coach Chad King and the forward-thinking Tell-A-Vision program.
Jose, a 2001 LBHS graduate, was eager to share his journey with the students, recounting his life's trials and tribulations, how he joined the Marine Corps after high school, and how he overcame adversity to start his own successful business in 2010. The tale of his transformation from a local LBHS student to a business mogul offered inspiration to the young minds in attendance.
One of the core messages from his talk was a regretful admission that he wished he had applied himself more in school. The Credit Dude emphasized to the students the importance of maintaining credibility with their classmates, parents, and teachers as a cornerstone to their success. He explained that trust and credibility are invaluable traits that can open doors to incredible opportunities and foster success in all aspects of life.
Beyond life lessons and advice, The Credit Dude, also took the time to break down the concept of credit. He explained in accessible terms what credit is, why it matters, and how it can impact their futures. For example, he stressed the role of credit in big life decisions such as purchasing cars and securing mortgages.
He gave the students practical advice and examples of what they should be doing now to set up a solid financial future, underlining the importance of responsible money management even at a young age. In doing so, Rodriguez fostered an understanding of fiscal responsibility that many adults struggle to grasp.
But The Credit Dude's talk didn't stop at enlightening and educating. In a heartening finale, he announced the creation of three scholarships that his company will be awarded to three deserving students from the Class of 2024. The scholarships serve as a testament to Rodriguez's dedication to empowering the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs at LBHS.
He made a bold promise - that the Class of 2024 would have the highest credit scores in LBHS history. It's a lofty goal but with guidance from The Got Credit? team, the students are armed with the knowledge to make this promise a reality.
Several members of The Money Team, all proud graduates of LBHS, were also present, each offering their unique perspectives and thoughts about the presentation.
Joe Rodriguez, known as The Credit Adviser (Class of 1996), emphasized the importance of consistency and credibility when making a difference in young lives. He remarked, "Some of these kids experience inconsistent parental involvement. If they're going to trust us and learn from us, our credibility with them is crucial."
Steven Rodriguez, known as The Credit Fighter (Class of 1999), focused on the power of relatability in education. "You can get information across to anyone as long as they can relate to you. Today, these kids were engaged because they could see themselves up on that stage in the future. It's crucial they know that messing up isn't the end—it's often just the beginning."
Jose Rivera, known as The Credit Hustler (Class of 2002), expressed his disappointment about the lack of basic credit education in schools. He offered a solution, suggesting, "If we can speak at the school yearly, educating the kids about credit, they can then teach their parents about its importance. That could drive the parents to want to fix their credit."
Jonathan Melendez, known as The Credit Director (Class of 2008), pointed out the paradox of information accessibility in today's digital age. "These kids have the world at their fingertips but are still limited to basic information because schools or homes don't educate them, and they're often too distracted by TikTok. Speaking to these kids yearly will benefit them and their families greatly."
Lastly, Tito Rivera, known as The Credit Savage (Class of 2009), expressed his satisfaction with the event's impact. "We showed up as our true selves and made an impression that will last these kids' entire lives. I love the idea of a job fair featuring LBHS alumni-owned businesses offering internships to juniors and seniors."
The presentation by The Credit Dude and his team offered a unique blend of financial education, life lessons, and motivation that deeply resonated with the students of LBHS. Through their commitment to educating the youth about credit and financial literacy, The Money Team has left an indelible mark on their alma mater.
But the team's commitment to the future leaders at LBHS didn't stop at words of wisdom. In an exciting twist to the event, Got Credit? donated five Apple iMacs and two Apple Macbooks to deserving students. This generous gift wasn't just about providing these students with top-of-the-line technology—it was about giving them the tools to advance their studies and potentially start their own businesses. This impactful gesture underscores the team's dedication to equipping the next generation with the resources they need to excel and innovate.
Got Credit?'s visit to Long Branch High School wasn't just an inspirational talk. It was an investment in the futures of the students and the community, a testament to the power of education, resilience, and financial literacy. And, most importantly, it was a homecoming of successful LBHS alumni who are committed to giving back to their roots and nurturing the potential in every student.
From left to right: Jose Rivera, Steven Rodriguez, Jose Rodriguez, Joe Rodriguez, Tito Rivera