Congrats to the Penny Pincher!

Five foot four guard Eric Valentin gets scholarship.

Yahoo! had a great story on hard work and financial education today. This five foot four inch guy, Eric Valentin, transfers from a community college to a university, walks on to the basketball team, and earns a scholarship. THEN he says he’s not going to frivolously spend the money but instead he’s going to use it to pay off student loans.

Valentin’s job this summer was a paid internship for the United States Department of Agriculture. Instead of using that money to pay for books and out-of-state tuition for his senior year, Valentin says he’ll save it or use it to pay off previous student loans.

“I’m a big coupon guy, penny pincher,” he said. “I’ve always appreciated the free food we get on the road and I’m going to try not to change. I’m going to try not to go on any shopping sprees and buy a bunch of shoes. I’m a big saver so I’m sure that’s going to get saved away.”

I was in Watts yesterday working with the summer interns at a Yo! Program and I wish I would have seen this before then. This student is making some really good moves:

#1 He understands that if he wants to get what he wants he has to gave a goal.
#2 He knows that wanting something isn’t enough. You also have to do the work to make it happen.
#3 He’s making smart money decisions with his financial aid.

I really enjoyed reading about Mr. Eric Valentin. I hope you share this story far and wide.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She has written three books on personal finance, contributes to multiple online media platforms, and is a foster care alumni. She’s been quoted on,, and The Credit Union Times, among others. Visit to find out more about her work.

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s