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Seventh- and eighth-grade students participate in a Bite of Reality event in Yerrington, NV on Jan. 7.

updated 01/25/14 04:38 PM
Program Reached 1,285 Youth
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation's "Bite of Reality" program enjoyed a successful 2013, reaching 1,285 youth throughout California and Nevada.

Seventeen different events were hosted by a number of credit unions and chapters throughout both states, including California CU, Family FCU, Great Basin FCU, Greater Nevada CU, Kinecta FCU, Meriwest CU, Orange County’s CU, Patelco CU, Redwood CU, SkyOne FCU, and those involved with the Beach Cities, East Bay, Orange County, Tri-County, and Northern Nevada chapters.

Members of the California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network board—who provide volunteer training for Bite of Reality events—also hosted an event, during the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention held in October in San Francisco. The event attracted more than 75 teens from Lincoln High School.

The program, which launched in August 2012, 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. They are given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. They then visit various stations to "purchase" items such as housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, and daycare. Those staffing the "credit union" station provide much-needed assistance when some overspend.

In addition to reaching nearly 1,300 young people, the program netted its share of great media coverage, including a recent article in the Contra Costa Times .

Other articles have appeared in the Roseville Press-Tribune, Nevada Appeal, and Riverside Press-Enterprise.

“With the growing interest in the program our hope is to reach 3,000 students in 2014,” said Tena Lozano, executive director of the RMJ Foundation.

Already 10 events have been scheduled for 2014, including two at the beginning of January in Yerrington and Fallon, NV, and one on Jan.25 in Wilmington. And a number of other credit unions and chapters are in the process of scheduling events. For more information on the program, please contact Tena at tenal@ccul.org, or by phone at 909.212.6057.

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