|Students from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco took part in a Bite of Reality event at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.|
SF TEENS GET A 'BITE OF REALITY'
updated 10/28/13 05:40 PM
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A group of 78 San Francisco teens got a "bite of reality" Monday when they attended an interactive financial education simulation at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco designed to teach them how to manage money.
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation program was hosted by the California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network prior to the start of the California and Nevada Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting and Convention.
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 McKesson FCU, Patelco CU, Redwood CU, San Francisco FCU, and San Francisco Fire CU, who volunteered their time.
Before the event, San Francisco City and County Treasurer José Cisneros welcomed the students from Abraham Lincoln High School’s Academy of Finance, and talked of the importance of financial education.
At the start of the 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 salesmen, unexpected expenses and windfalls, and expensive tastes to keep themselves in the black, and learn how to budget and make wise financial choices. When some of the teens ran into difficulties with overspending, those staffing the "credit union" station were more than happy to provide assistance.
Student Jimmy Chen found the experience eye-opening: “I found out life is very expensive, and that having a child is very expensive.”
The Bite of Reality event in San Francisco was among three held in California and Nevada during the month of October. About 110 teens took part in an event at San Rafael High School hosted by Redwood CU.
And on International Credit Union Day, October 17, more than 50 high schoolers gathered at the Ninth Street Boys and Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows top received a financial reality check at a Bite of Reality event there. The event was hosted by several northern Nevada credit unions: Greater Nevada CU, Great Basin FCU, Frontier Financial CU and Financial Horizons CU.