According to the Council of Economic Education 2016, Survey of States; there are currently no economic and personal finance standards or graduating requirements for Alaskan students. To strengthen these areas of study for students, MAC Federal Credit Union has partnered with the Financial Reality Foundation to bring financial education to high school students.
The Get REAL Financial Reality Fair, a program provided by the Financial Reality Foundation, is an interactive program that allows students to make budgeting decisions (and mistakes) in a fun-filled, interactive learning environment. The event is a two-hour simulation specifically designed for high school seniors where they make real-life choices about a post-high school career and how to stay within budget while paying for necessities such as housing, food, and transportation to name a few. Along the way, needs versus wants are tested as community volunteers sell vacations, puppies, hot-tubs and many more impulse spending items that can have a major impact on a budget.
The Financial Reality Foundation partners with local credit unions like MAC Federal Credit Union, providing them with a turn-key reality fair package that makes it possible for the credit union to provide an event to their local schools. In a collaborative effort, the foundation and credit unions work with their own staff and community partnerships to provide the event to the students in their own schools, during their school day. The concept of using the community and school resources has been highly successful. It reduces costs and meets students where they are at. It ensures a better turnout and their mindset is receptive to learning. Budgeting is a topic area that is most relevant to high school seniors at this stage of their life, making real-life application foreseeable. By providing the Get REAL Financial Reality Fair program to the schools annually, every student will get their opportunity to participate when they become a senior. It creates an eagerness for lower classman to be able to go through this eye-opening event in their future.
“MAC Federal Credit Union wholeheartedly believes in the mission of people helping people and is excited to be a part of the Financial Reality Foundation’s Get REAL program for students in Alaska. We believe this important program expands accessibility to our youth by providing an innovative and real-life financial education training that is so desperately needed in our communities. In return, students enter adulthood with a much better grasp on the challenges that lie ahead and have the necessary tools to adapt and succeed, “ said CEO Angela Head of MAC FCU.
MAC Federal Credit Union has been providing the Get REAL Financial Reality Fairs to schools in the Fairbanks, North Pole and Delta Junction areas since 2015. Nearly 500 students have graduated with the revelation of budgeting and the importance of savings and balancing their wants vs. needs.
There are more opportunities to be a part of these events. This year’s schedule:
West Valley High School, Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Monroe Catholic High School, Tuesday, November 14, 2017
North Pole and Eielson High Schools, March 8, 2018
Hutch High School, April 12, 2018
Lathrop High School – TBA
Delta High School – TBA
MAC FCU and FRF are very encouraged by the amount of community partners that have signed up to be a part of these events so far! All community partners are publicly recognized on social media in the Events shared on Facebook. We are still looking for community involvement, please contact MAC FCU for more information on how you can become a community partner.
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