The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation – the state credit union foundation for California and Nevada – provides resources for credit unions in their youth financial education efforts.
Bite of Reality – the RMJ Foundation's signature program – is a fun, interactive simulation for teenagers. They are tasked with taking on the role of an adult for a day and must make purchasing decisions based on their assigned income.
The CNYIN is comprised of credit union professionals who provide youth financial education as part of their jobs. They provide resources to fellow youth educators, and partner with the RMJ Foundation on delivering Bite of Reality.
Visit the CNYIN website at http://www.cnyin.org/
This website, developed and maintained by the Leagues, provides a tool for credit unions that want to provide their members with access to easy-to-understand consumer financial education. The link below is available for you to place on your website.
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|Bay FCU AVP of Marketing and Development Amy Ivey (who served as one of the event’s “Fickle Fingers of Fate”—providing students with either unexpected expenses or windfalls) with Cabrillo Advancement Program students Daisy Lopez Rojas and Flor Villegas Alvarado.|
The students in the Cabrillo Advancement Program at the college participated in Bite of Reality, a hands-on simulation program, offered by the RMJ Foundation—the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada—together with the California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network—which promotes financial education to young people in the two states. The event was hosted by the Monterey Bay Chapter and featured volunteers from chapter credit unions, including Bay FCU and Santa Cruz Community CU.
At the October 13 event, the teens were given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. The teens then visited various table-top stations to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs. In addition, there was a “credit union” to help with financial needs. They also faced some unexpected expenses and windfalls.
The teens who participated in the program enjoyed it, saying they learned to be wiser in their finances. They spoke about learning about needs vs. wants, and the importance of making a budget.
“It was an incredible opportunity to work with so many local youth and enable them to learn about budgeting in a ‘real-world’ setting,” said Liz Foster, youth financial educator with Santa Cruz Community Ventures, the 501c3 affiliate of Santa Cruz Community CU.
“’Bite of Reality’ gives teens a hands-on opportunity to experience making financial decisions, and get a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget," said Tena Lozano, executive director of the RMJ Foundation. "And, since it’s conducted in fun setting, it keeps the teens engaged and enthusiastic throughout the program."
Patelco CU was the first credit union in California to use the “Bite of Reality” program in August with children of its employees. In September, the Orange County Chapter conducted the program at Century High School in Santa Ana, CA for about 26 students. The RMJ Foundation will conduct another program the week of October 22 for teens at Carson City in Nevada, and will work with the Southern Nevada Chapter to deliver the program to teens in the Las Vegas area during the Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention in November.
The program is available to all Leagues member credit unions and chapters. The RMJ Foundation provides all the materials and training needed for the program at no cost. Additionally, a CNYIN board member will assist the credit union or chapter in organizing and delivering the event.