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MCUCF Sponsors 10 Reality Fairs in 2015

In 2015, more than 550 Missouri students benefitted from the financial reality fairs sponsored by the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation (MCUCF) in partnership with the University of Missouri—St. Louis and the University of Missouri—Kansas City.

This is just one example of how MCUCF supports credit unions’ efforts to improve the financial lives of those living in Missouri communities.  

“Reality fairs are a very educational experience. They help teens begin to understand how the 'real world' works—from purchasing houses and cars to all the expenses of having a child,” says Susie Venable, president of St. Luke’s Credit Union and secretary/treasurer of MCUCF’s board of directors. “This is the perfect age for teens to get a dose of reality and learn about personal finance.”  

Starting in January, MCUCF facilitated 10 reality fairs in the St. Louis, Rolla and the Kansas City area. Reality fairs were hosted at Jennings High School, Riverview Gardens High School, Oakville High School, Frontier School of Innovation, Rolla High School, Maplewood Richmond Heights High School, De La Salle Learning Center, Grandview, Allen Village High School and Normandy High School.

In these financial simulations, each student receives a packet containing pretend occupations, salaries, bills and family members. The teens have to manage a budget and make sure they were saving enough and spending money on needs versus wants. Teens have to visit booths throughout the room that represent places where they can fulfill their checklist of needs and wants, like a clothing store, mortgage company, day care, credit union, grocery store and more. 

“During our most recent visit to Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School, I met a set of twins who were both really outstanding students," says Kenny DeShields, social media specialist for Vantage Credit Union. "They were seniors who had overcome some family challenges, but were excited that they were able to use their real life experiences with budgeting in this reality fair exercise.”

We thank all the credit union volunteers who spent time out of their busy days to support this effort to spread financial literacy in Missouri. Volunteers represented 12 different credit unions in Missouri.

Questions? Contact Maria Langston, MCUCF executive director, via email or phone, 800.392.3074, ext. 1344. 

Caption: Several credit union volunteers work with students during a financial reality fair at Jennings High School.