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Orange County’s CU’s Ross Street Branch Manager Alex Hernandez helps Century High School students purchase transportation during the Bite of Reality program held recently at the school.

SANTA ANA TEENS TAKE BITE OF REALITY
updated 12/10/13 03:23 PM
OC CUs Host Interactive Simulation at Century HS
Some 28 teens recently took a "Bite of Reality" and learned the basics of finances and budgeting at Century High School in Santa Ana.

The high school students participated in Bite of Reality, a hands-on simulation program hosted by the Orange County Chapter with volunteers from Orange County’s CU, Eagle Community CU, Fairview FCU, and Kinecta FCU. The program—offered by the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation—is designed to teach young people the basics of finance in a fun, interactive way.

At the Nov. 20 event, the teens were given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. They then visited various stations to "purchase" items such as housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, and daycare. They battled their way past pushy salesmen, unexpected expenses and windfalls, and expensive tastes to keep themselves in the black, and learn how to budget and make wise financial choices. Those staffing the "credit union" station provided much-needed assistance when some had overspent.

The teens who participated in the program enjoyed it, saying they learned to be more wise in their finances by focusing on purchasing things they needed first before spending money on things they wanted. They also learned about the importance of budgeting and getting a higher education to improve their financial picture.

Alex Hernandez, branch manager at Orange County’s CU's Ross Street branch in Santa Ana, was among those volunteering for the event. He said the program gives the teens a reality check before getting to adulthood. “In real life, you cannot return a car once you sign the contract—it is not easy to give back,” he said.

“It's exciting to see credit unions and community volunteers working together with a shared passion for education,” said Orange County’s CU Assistant Vice President of Community Development and Education Leticia Mata. “’Bite of Reality’ allows us to share our experiences and prepare our youth in becoming responsible adults. We all have a common agenda in helping our community members become financially stable and self-sufficient.”

"This interactive activity gives teens a hands-on opportunity to experience making financial decisions, and a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget," said Tena Lozano, executive director of the RMJ Foundation. "And it's all conducted in a fun, low-risk setting."

 
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ANNUAL FED WEBINAR ON REGS, GUIDANCE updated 11/21/14 10:32 AM
Also, FinCEN Issues Advisories
Senior staff at the Federal Reserve will host an annual webinar to provide a recap of recent regulatory changes and highlight various inter-agency guidance. The webinar will also discuss current hot topics in the financial services industry and give a glimpse of future regulatory changes.

DIANA DYKSTRA RECEIVES 'EAGLE AWARD' updated 11/20/14 10:41 AM
Outstanding Record of Achievement
Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, was presented with the American Association of Credit Union Leagues’ highest honor—the Eagle Award—this week during AACUL’s winter meeting in Hawaii.

LEAGUE SURVEY EXTENDED TO NOV. 21 updated 11/19/14 10:57 AM
Overdraft and Courtesy Pay
The deadline for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ survey to obtain information about credit unions’ overdraft and courtesy-pay programs has been extended to Nov. 21.

CUs RECEIVE UNRIVALED SURVEY SCORE updated 11/18/14 11:10 AM
Ranked First in 'Customer Satisfaction'
Credit unions are ranked first in customer satisfaction, significantly outpacing all other financial services, according to findings released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).