updated 10/24/12 11:20 AM
TEENS TAKE A 'BITE OF REALITY'
RMJ Foundation Offers Interactive Program
Some 60 Santa Cruz County teens recently took a "Bite of Reality" and learned the basics of finances at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA, courtesy of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation's new program.
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.
Some 60 Santa Cruz County teens recently took a "Bite of Reality" and learned the basics of finances at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA, courtesy of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation's new program.
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.
The teens 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.
“’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.
Students work on their budgeting skills.
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.
Volunteers from Monterey Bay Chapter credit unions assisted the students.
The teens sometimes faced unexpected expenses and/or windfalls during the event.
Bite of Reality program offers youths a hands-on opportunity to make real-life financial decisions.
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