This post is a follow-up to a previous post about Noureddine El Alam’s Financial Literacy course.


I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of Mr. El Alam’s Financial Math Seminar in the winter term. I believe that, because of the importance of financial literacy in life after high school, it should be a requirement for all seniors. The focus of the course was not only on how to act in financial situations, such as managing credit scores, investing, or buying a home, but more importantly on the characteristics needed to properly do so, such as frugality and organization. I trust that each person taking the course, no matter their academic interests, will be able to realize the content’s relevance in their daily lives.


I recently had a chat with my mom about her high school courses, and how public schools used to have classes like cooking, woodshop, and sometimes even etiquette. We agreed that a cooking class would be a great way to learn how to live independently—without the comfort of Paresky Commons—and still maintain affordable and healthy eating habits. Similarly, a financial mathematics class in high school prepares students to make important life decisions with regards to where we choose to live (real estate), what we choose to drive (car purchases), and in whose hands we trust our money (investing). It’s also an opportunity to get a small taste of what a finance major may look like. Perhaps we could spare a term of Shakespeare to learn how to be financially independent.


As soon as Andover students leave their high school bubble, they will be expected to make life-changing financial decisions about credit cards, student loans, mortgages, cars, and employment opportunities. Mr. El Alam’s finance seminar is the only course at PA that teaches students how to approach these decisions. Mr. El Alam brings wit and energy to his class every single day! Without this class, the PA curriculum would not adequately prepare students to handle the financial realities of the adult world.


This seminar has prompted me to think about my own relationship with money. Often as I’m walking back to the dorm, I’ll think about what we talked about in and read for class, and process how I want to develop my own relationship with money. I’ve come to my own ideas about how I want to care about it, in what ways I want to protect it, and how to best use it.

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