TUKWILA, Wash. (10/29/15)--Tukwila, Wash.-based BECU shuttered its credit union branches "for good" recently. But don’t worry--it’s not going out of business.
BECU “closed for good” for the first-half of a work day last week to host a series of financial literacy fairs in schools throughout the area (Anthem Oct. 26).
All 1,300 BECU staff members streamed out into the community to run reality fairs, in which students assumed fabricated lives and were forced to make financial decisions based on their economic situations.
The “Closing for Good” event reached more than 3,000 students in 21 high schools, according to BECU.
“We want to make sure that the teens in our community understand personal finances and are prepared as they enter the next stage of their lives,” said Benson Porter, BECU president/CEO. “Investing in the financial well-being of students is the right move as a community member and as a business.”
Students, especially those at Seattle’s Franklin High School who come from disadvantaged homes or communities, were appreciative of the learning experience.
“I’ve learned more about financial management today than from anything else in my life,” said Katherine Le, a senior from Franklin (Anthem). “A lot of parents here make minimum wage or are unemployed. We want to learn to do better than our parents, to stay out of debt.”
During her reality fair, Le was given the identity of a pediatrician.
“By the end I was $1,000 over budget, but construction workers and plumbers were fine,” she said. “I learned that just because you have a good job doesn’t mean you get everything you want.”