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California CU Branch Manager Lyudmila Pazyuk talks to 14-year-old Hoover High School student Shant Wahram about his transportation options during the Bite of Reality program held recently at the school.

TEENS GET MONEY MANAGEMENT LESSONS
updated 12/10/13 03:29 PM
California CU Hosts Bite of Reality Program
A group of 180 freshmen students from Hoover High School in Glendale got a “bite of reality” on Dec. 4 when they attended an interactive financial education simulation designed to teach them how to manage money. The program was hosted by California CU. It was offered by the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation.

The event—which aims to teach young people the basics of finance by having them take a “real world” test drive complete with a job, money and the freedom to make their own financial decisions—was run by employees from the credit union, who volunteered their time.

The students—who attend teacher Chuck Saint’s Guidance classes at the high school—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 overspent.

Some, like 14-year-old Alex Sarkisian, lamented their meager salaries and the high cost of living. He was a television broadcast technician making about $2,000 a month.

“I’m getting a better job and I’m not going to have any debt,” Alex said, when asked what the simulation program had taught him.

Sophia Ramos, 15, was given the occupation of cook while her “husband” was a brick layer. Together they took home $3,373 a month. Still, the cost of having a child was eye-opening for her. “I knew they were expensive, but not that expensive,” she said.

Edgar Abaamyn, 14, said the program gives him a head start on the future. “I never thought you needed to buy all of these things as a grownup,” he said, waving his arm toward the various stations in the room.

That taste of reality is exactly what the event coordinators hope young people take away from the program.

This is so relevant and so powerful,” said Saint, who is head of the Health and Guidance Department at Hoover High School. The Guidance class, which he helped create five years ago, helps transition students from middle school to high school. It touches upon study skills, life skills, and social responsibility.

“I like that it gets kids to figure things out on their own, which relates perfectly to the common core standards in California,” Saint added.

California CU Chief Marketing Officer Ron Stratman thought the program went very well.

Stratman added that the program will be offered again next year and it will become a part of the curriculum at the school.

"Giving teens this hands-on opportunity to experience making financial decisions in a low-risk setting gives them a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget before they have to make those decisions in the ‘real world’," said Tena Lozano, executive director of the RMJ Foundation.

 
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FIs TRUSTED OVER RETAILERS updated 03/25/15 03:00 PM
Better Data Protection
According to a recent Gallup poll, 91 percent of consumers trust credit unions and banks to better safeguard their personal information and keep data secure, compared to less than 70 percent of consumers who trust merchants. More than 11,000 U.S. adults age 18 and older were surveyed for the poll.

OVERDRAFT PROPOSAL OPPOSED updated 03/24/15 08:56 AM
Treatment of Prepaid Cards
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have submitted a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that strongly opposes the bureau’s proposed treatment of overdrafts on prepaid cards as credit and subject to Regulation Z requirements.

GRR IS LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY updated 03/23/15 10:54 AM
Crucial Event for CA State Advocacy
The 2015 Government Relations Rally (GRR) is the most important state legislative event for credit unions in California— and it’s less than three weeks away. Will you be there to advocate for your credit union?

CEOs TALK RISK, OPPORTUNITY, FUTURE updated 03/19/15 05:04 PM
Cheney, Gunderson, and Hernandez
Threats to cybersecurity, defending against card fraud, and remaining relevant to consumers are top concerns for three credit union CEOs who recently participated on a special panel during a California Credit Union League Orange County Chapter meeting.

CA CEO TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS updated 03/18/15 10:18 AM
Also, Rep. Royce Reintroduces Bill
Patrick Miller, CEO of CBC FCU testified before today’s House Committee on Financial Services hearing titled “Preserving Consumer Choice and Financial Independence.” Miller was the witness on behalf of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The bulk of his testimony centered on duplicative compliance burdens, as well as the modifications needed to strengthen the credit union charter.

NCUA WARNS ABOUT PHISHING SCAM updated 03/18/15 03:00 PM
‘National Credit Union’ Con
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has issued a warning to consumers that the agency has received reports of an online phishing scam which uses a website with a logo and a design similar to the agency’s own site in an attempt to convince customers/members to provide information or send money. Click here to read the warning.

SMALL, LARGE CUs MEET AT 'GAC' updated 03/16/15 11:31 AM
Also, Pete Aguilar Fundraiser
Nearly 50 CEOs and professionals from small credit unions and their large-sponsor counterparts attended the Partners in Advocacy reception last week at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ suite during the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

MCWATTERS MEETS WITH CA, NV LEADERS updated 03/16/15 10:27 AM
CFPB Officials Address Rules
The room was packed last week when National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Member Mark McWatters made time to address attendees from California and Nevada during the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.

CU HILL VISITS: 'TREMENDOUS SUCCESS' updated 03/16/15 01:25 PM
Keeps Advocacy Top of Mind
More than 225 colleagues from California and Nevada credit unions joined thousands of their peers at the 2015 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) last week, making visits to lawmakers’ offices and meeting with regulatory officials.

ADVOCATES GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C. updated 03/10/15 10:51 AM
2015 Governmental Affairs Conference
California and Nevada credit union leaders attending the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C. focused on pressing legislative and regulatory issues as they were briefed in the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ suite on Monday afternoon and met intermittently on Tuesday.

COMMITMENT TO SUPP. CAPITAL AND RBC updated 03/10/15 09:57 AM
Plus, Modernizing FOM Limits
Credit union leaders from California and Nevada were surprised and pleased with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz’s comments from this week regarding the use of supplemental capital for risk-based capital purposes.

PURCELL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED AT 'GAC' updated 03/10/15 07:50 AM
Honor ‘Means a Great Deal to Me’
This year’s Kelly J. Purcell Credit Union Memorial Fund Scholarship was awarded to Rebecca Herrigel, a student at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management who will graduate this year with a master’s degree in political management.

REG. RELIEF HEARING ANNOUNCED updated 03/09/15 10:06 AM
Signals Many Discussions Ahead
With the opening of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on March 8, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues had its first of many announcements.

CEOs JOIN CU HOUSE HALL OF LEADERS updated 03/09/15 09:30 AM
Eric Bruen and Joe Schroeder
Desert Valleys FCU CEO Eric Bruen and Ventura County CU President Joe Schroeder were inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders during the Credit Union House meeting, prior to the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), which began on March 8. Both received this honor for their significant impact on the credit union movement, and are the third and fourth inductees from California since the program’s inception in 2008.

NCUA, CFPB TO MEET CA AND NV LEADERS updated 03/03/15 09:12 AM
RBC, Overdraft, and Other Topics
On board for California and Nevada attendees of the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) is a special visit from officials with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' hospitality suite.

THREE TOPICS SHAPING ‘GAC’ THIS YEAR updated 03/02/15 05:08 PM
Data Security Will Top GRR
Next week the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) will kick off in Washington D.C.—a conference that, unlike others, is focused on bringing the credit union message to Congress and the administration.

EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN CU CEO RETIRIN updated 03/02/15 04:20 PM
Holbrook Served For 36 Years
Evangelical Christian CU's Mark Holbrook will retire in May after 36 years as CEO. He is widely acknowledged for growing the 50-year-old institution to an alliance of more than 11,000 members and ministries in 130 countries.

ROYCE REINTRODUCES MBL CAP BILL updated 03/02/15 03:31 PM
Raises Limit to 27.5 Percent of Assets
Today, Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) reintroduced legislation raising the member business lending (MBL) from 12.25 percent to 27.5 percent of assets.

CUs LEND UNIQUE VOICE TO NEWS MEDIA updated 03/02/15 02:55 PM
Stories Garner Spotlight in CA, NV
Only two months into 2015, local news media across California and Nevada are highlighting credit unions’ positive impact on their communities as the economy continues strengthening and the industry seeks how it can uniquely serve members.

VETERANS MBL BILL INTRODUCED updated 02/27/15 01:27 PM
Service Member Loans Exempt From Cap
This morning, Reps. Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Jeff Miller (R-FL) introduced H.R. 1133, legislation that will help the nation’s veterans establish themselves as small business entrepreneurs. With many service members already credit union members, this new bill would exempt small business loans issued to veterans from the member business lending (MBL) cap.

CUs TESTIFY ON FIN. LITERACY updated 02/25/15 10:50 AM
Nat'l. CU Foundation Speaks at FLEC
Gigi Hyland, executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation toured the movement's dedication to youth financial literacy today in a presentation to the U.S. Treasury's Financial Literacy Education Commission (FLEC).

WINE AUCTION RAISES RECORD AMOUNT updated 02/24/15 10:27 AM
More Than $1 Million for Children’s Hospitals
More than $1 million was raised for 11 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada during the annual Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction last Friday night—a record amount in the event’s 10-year history.

REACH INNOVATION GROUP KICKS OFF updated 02/23/15 03:15 PM
Two-Day Discovery Experience
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ REACH Innovation Group officially launched last week with a two-day experiential learning session, immersing the 17 participants in the Filene Method of Innovation.

CONGRESSMEN VISIT CA, NV CU LEADERS updated 02/23/15 01:53 PM
Plus, Nevada HOA Super Lien Update
Two members of Congress visited credit unions in California and Nevada last week during the President’s Day district work period.