Helping 9th graders experience the “real world”

first_img 58SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lacey Yasick Lacey is the Communications Manager for the National Credit Union Foundation. She works to develop and execute all communication efforts that support the Foundation’s national programs and engagement strategy.Lacey … Web: www.ncuf.coop Details “He told me how he was getting frustrated from having a good amount of money, to barely having $20 at the end. He told me he can see how hard it is for his dad and myself…raising four children and both working full-time jobs. I was happy, and proud that he got to experience a little of what being an adult is and what comes with it,” said the mother of a child who attended High Plains Federal Credit Union’s Reality Check Day.This was the reaction of a parent whose 9th grader just attended a special experiential learning event put on by their local credit union in collaboration with the United Way of Eastern New Mexico, and over 2o community partners. Through the combined efforts of the community partners, High Plains Federal Credit Union (HPFCU) created a “Reality Check Day” at a local high school. What is a Reality Check Day you may ask?Through an Experiential Learning Grant distributed from the National Credit Union Foundation, HPFCU was able to host a day-long event called “Reality Check Day” that placed high school students into the shoes of their future selves, and sensitized them to the financial hardships that some American families experience every day.HPFCU utilized CUNA’s Mad City Money program, a hands-on experience that allows students to learn some of the financial challenges they will face when they start life on their own. Students identify their career and starting salary, and are required to complete a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly means.Throughout the fair, there are many temptations for additional spending, helping students learn to balance needs versus wants. This experience helps students to learn about finances, budgeting, and how hard it might be for their parents to provide for their families.In addition to the Mad City Money program, the Reality Check Day also included a Poverty Simulation/Life Simulation, in which the students learned what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family, struggling to survive month to month. This simulation helps students to be more aware of the daily realities that many families face each day, and the emotions that come from money stress and making financial decisions.“Reality Check Day made an impact on over 580 freshman students plus their parents, teachers, community leaders and over 60 volunteers,” said Veronica Barnard, MSR Manager at HPFCU. “It was an eye opener for the students. They learned about debt, cash flow, budgeting and life as a low income family. In addition to new knowledge, they also took away valuable skills such as completing employment applications, time management, the use of a financial institution, how to find community resources, and the importance of saving for unexpected expenses. They now have a sense of how important finances are in their family’s day to day life. They have also created a relationship with their parents about finances that they never understood before.”This Reality Check Day made a lasting impact on these 9th grade students, who are now better prepared for their financial future. Through the hard work of their local credit union, and valuable community partners who volunteered their time, these students were given a dose of reality.You can see a video highlighting the Reality Check Day here. last_img

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