The Road to Financial Wellness Starts at Rutgers

Jason Vitug ('07 RBS) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

Jason Vitug (RBS’07) founder of Phroogal with Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management.

The Road to Financial Wellness 2.0 kicked off with a campus pit stop held at IFNH on Thursday June 2nd. Jason Vitug, a 2007 graduate of Rutgers Business School and founder of Phroogal—a social media company providing financial information targeted to millennials—is embarking on his 2nd annual financial education journey across the United States with 50 events in 50 states over 107 days, covering 15,000 miles, to raise awareness of personal finance and to encourage people to make better financial decisions. Vitug will kick off this road trip in his hometown of Elizabeth, NJ, on Tuesday June 7. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in financial resource management, invited Vitug and two guest panelists—Pamela Callender, business development and marketing manager at Rutgers Federal Credit Union (RFCU), and Kim Cole, Navicore Solutions and New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education—to speak to the campus audience and provide specific tips to improve a person’s financial wellness.

In addition to the presentations, during his journey Vitug and his Phroogal team will be posting and sharing stories at #TheRoad2016 and encourages everyone to ‘come along for the ride.’

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

Jason Vitug speaking about his journey to financial wellness.

The Rutgers seminar began with Vitug talking about his own financial history including the $5,000 credit card debt he graduated with and ‘living paycheck to paycheck, despite a six-figure salary.’  In recounting this, he emphasized the importance of life planning and smart spending. Vitug told the audience to dig deep and ‘envision your dream life style’ so that you have a life plan which your financial plan then supports. Contrary to popular wisdom, he explained that money can make you happy if it fulfills what you need and love, rather than just like and want.  Is that big house part of your real dream or just ‘keeping up with the Joneses?’

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Expressive Arts 4-H Showcase at Rutgers Day

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Ten 4-H members representing three counties (Camden, Passaic and Somerset) took part in the Expressive Arts 4-H Imagination in Action Showcase at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue Campus during Rutgers Day on April 30.

Hands-on visual arts activities and performances by 4-H members, ranging in ages from 9-15, provided an enjoyable day for Rutgers alumni, family and friends. The Somerset County 4-H Clover Ensemble club, under the direction of 4-H volunteer leaders Patti Verbanas, Ellen Parker and Julia Meier, provided entertainment during the day. [Read more…]

Statewide Efforts of Family and Community Health Sciences Gain Recognition

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

FCHS Chair Kathleen Morgan accepted the Culture of Health Award on behalf of the department. Photo: Jeff Heckman.

The work of the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) was recognized by the YMCA Alliance, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with a Culture of Health Award.

The award, presented at the Culture of Health Conference in New Jersey, “honors individuals and communities that are creating partnerships and deep commitments to drive local change, ensuring all residents have an opportunity to make healthy choices in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.”

According to Kathleen Morgan, chair of FCHS, who accepted the award on behalf of the department, these “Culture of Health” communities have worked through the development of deliberate policies, programmatic, environmental and systems changes designed to help each community sustain these changes over time, with the overall goal of improving health. [Read more…]

2015 NJAES Annual Report Available for New Jersey Stakeholders

NJAES 2015 Annual Report coverThe 2015 NJAES Annual Report, produced by the Office of the Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Robert Goodman, was unveiled on Feb. 11 at the final day of the New Jersey Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

The report highlights the research and extension activities of the experiment station under the six broad categories of commercial agriculture; environment and natural resources; fisheries and aquaculture; food, nutrition and health; home, lawn and garden; and youth and community development. In addition, the key areas of economic development and fundraising support round out a comprehensive look at the impact of NJAES on the lives of NJ residents, communities, and businesses. For your copy, contact the SEBS & NJAES Office of CommunicationsView the interactive 2015 NJAES Annual Report.

NJ Teams Capture Top Awards at Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-UP

Members of the New Jersey Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up team pictured at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Members of the New Jersey Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up team pictured at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Thirteen New Jersey 4-H horse project members competed in five events, capturing top awards in four of the events during the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up held Nov. 6-8 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up provides a place for youth to compete nationally while encouraging and developing teamwork, self-confidence, independence, critical thinking and leadership skills. Nearly 250 4-H members from over 25 states participated in the event. New Jersey 4-H members competed in Horse Bowl, Horse Judging, Equine Presentations, Hippology and Public Speaking events. [Read more…]

Rutgers Helps Friends School Students Get a Taste of Gardening

Students were skeptical at Friends School Mullica Hill, an independent PreK to 8th grade school in Harrison Township, when Luanne Hughes passed around tiny cups of a green frothy brew at her lunchtime demonstration. Hughes, a registered dietician and professor at Rutgers University Cooperative Extension of Gloucester County, was visiting as part of a partnership to help the school develop its on-campus gardening project… Using fresh spinach the students at Friends School grew and collected in their own raised bed garden, Hughes blended together a shake that also included bananas, orange juice and fresh kiwi. Watching the ingredients whipped together into a bright green shake elicited a few groans of disapproval from some of the middle schoolers. The kids were encouraged to "be brave" and "try something new" by Hughes as she passed around the sample cups… "Having our garden supported by Luanne and Rutgers University has been invaluable," said Reaves. "They are helping us to teach kids the importance of fresh farm produce."

Read the entire article at www.mycentraljersey.com »

Somerset County Teens to Attend National 4-H Congress

Somerset County 4-H member James Meier has been selected to attend National 4-H Congress scheduled for Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in Atlanta… James will be part of the New Jersey delegation of 17 teen 4-H members from nine counties (Atlantic, Cumberland, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic and Somerset)… National 4-H Congress is the premiere national educational and recognition event for the 4-H youth development program. For over 90 years, youth from the United States and its territories have participated in this youth leadership development conference… The theme for 2015 event is "Excite, Spark, Ignite." The conference will focus on the Cooperative Extension System’s belief that young people can be significant partners in addressing the issues that face our nation, especially those affecting youth. The educational programs were developed for National Congress by a design team of youth and adults from around the country… The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

Flemington Resident a Member of New Jersey Team to Attend National 4-H Avian Bowl Contest

Two 4-H members will represent New Jersey at the National 4-H Avian Bowl Contest to be held at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference scheduled for Nov. 18-19, in Louisville, Kentucky. Approximately 250 individuals will be attending this national conference… The 4-H Avian Bowl is a double elimination contest for teams patterned after other knowledge bowls. Teams consist of 2-4 members per team. Avian Bowl is an educational project, in which 4-H contestants must have a comprehensive knowledge of subject matter for several species of poultry, food safety, physiology, nutrition, eggs and other related subjects. The National 4-H Avian Bowl is sponsored by the Poultry Science Association… "This the first time in the history of the National 4-H Avian Bowl competition that New Jersey has had a team participate. Avian Bowl offers 4-H’ers an excellent opportunity to work as a team to advance their knowledge in poultry related topics. We are proud of our team and look forward to participating in future years!" says Jeannette Rea-Keywood, State 4-H Agent and New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program – Small Animal Project Advisory Council liaison.

Read the entire article at www.nj.com »

Cumberland County 4-H Directs High Impact School Outreach Model

Cumberland County 4-H Program Assistant Donna Griebau visited Saint Mary’s School to begin a series of classes that explored electricity… The series is part of an effort to refocus on school-based 4-H programs using a new model which is intended to bring the benefits of 4-H club experience into the classroom… The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers Cooperative Extension and is the oldest positive youth development program in the country. 4-H is a leader in experiential learning programs and helps youth learn how to run a meeting using parliamentary procedure, develop public speaking skills, engage in community service work, set goals, complete project work, and benefit from recognition opportunities for their efforts… "Cumberland 4-H will continue to work with area schools providing one-time, hands-on enrichment programs," said Julie Karavan, County 4-H Agent.

Read the entire article at www.snjtoday.com »

Monster Mash 2015 [PHOTO GALLERY]

More than 80 Rutgers student groups participated in this year’s Monster Mash – an alternative Halloween event at Rutgers, and welcomed more than 2,500 local elementary school children and their families on the Cook/Douglass campus on Oct. 30

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