MADISON, Wis. (4/4/16)--An experiential learning grant from the National Credit Union Foundation allowed High Plains FCU, Clovis, N.M., to provide local high schoolers with some hands-on financial education.
High Plains FCU hosted 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.
High Plains FCU employed 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 a career and starting salary, and are required to complete a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly means.
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.
“He told me how he was getting frustrated from having a good amount of money, to barely having $20 at the end,” said the mother of a child who attended High Plains FCU’s Reality Check Day. ”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.”