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MCUCF, 1st Financial FCU Bring Reality Fair to At-Risk Teens

On July 30, the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation (MCUCF) partnered with 1st Financial Federal Credit Union (Wentzville) and the Treasurer’s Office of the City of St. Louis to host a financial reality fair at Innovative Concepts Academy’s Summer Workshop. Volunteers from these organizations provided real-world financial advice to approximately 40 students. 

"Seeing the 1st Financial Federal Credit Union team in action was inspiring," says Carol Minges, chief executive officer for 1st Financial FCU. "They are all so passionate about educating young adults; every conversation was full of enthusiasm. "

The Innovative Concept Academy (ICA) is a one-of-a kind school located in St. Louis. Started by St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Jimmie Edwards in the fall of 2009, ICA is the only school in America overseen by a court system dedicated to the education and rehabilitation of troubled teens. With a full curriculum, students at ICA are given their first real chance at changing course and building a productive, meaningful life.

A reality fair is meant to simulate financial decisions students will have to face in their daily lives. Each student receives a packet that includes a randomly assigned job title, annual salary, debt, marriage status, number of children and other information. The student’s goal is to complete his or her major life purchase checklist and have at least a $100 in his or her savings account at the end of the exercise. 

"The students truly engaged with the reality fair," says Minges. "They took the exercise seriously. I heard students work through actual scenarios, like how much it would cost to support a family or whether they really needed a big screen television or cell phone."

For more information about reality fairs, contact Maria Langston, MCUCF executive director, via email or phone at 800.392.3074, ext. 1344.

Caption (top): Pictured are Carol Minges, president of 1st Financial FCU, Leonard Johnson, of the Treasurer's Office of the City of St. Louis, Tishaura Jones, St. Louis City Treasurer, Lisa Gates, of the Treasurer's Office of the City of St. Louis and Tracy Verner, of 1st Financial FCU. 

Caption (bottom): Tracy Verner helps students learn the realities of how much child care actually costs.