Match Story – Casey Smith
Casey Smith has been involved in the Opportunity Passport™ since 2010 after hearing about the program at a Bangor Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT) meeting. At the time, Casey was 20 years old and working at a movie theatre. With no driver’s license or car, he bicycled to work,even in mid-winter; as a result, he was often sick and often missed work. Through learning about budgeting and saving in the financial literacy training, Casey set a goal to find a better paying job and save for a car. In August 2011, three days after getting his driver’s license, Casey purchased a used car, using the full match of $1,000.
Besides getting to work, having transportation enabled Casey to participate in public speaking events, such as the 2012 Community Conversations, as well as enroll in college where he is currently studying mental health and human services. His future educational goals include studying law.
Casey has used the Opportunity Passport™ match for an apartment, saving enough to pay his rent three months in advance. He credits the Opportunity Passport™ with helping him to develop a very high credit score, something he knows has impressed his landlord. Casey feels that the Opportunity Passport™ “helped me get ahead & show the way to use resources. “
Casey is now saving for a new car and hopes to be able to make financial investments in the future. He says that if more youth knew about the Opportunity Passport™ they would be better prepared for life as an adult when they leave foster care. He feels that the experience of participating in Opportunity Passport™ “teaches you how to be successful, it shows you the consequences and rewards of setting a goal & saving.”