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My Community FCU Partners with School to Host CU4 Reality Fair
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 7:00 AM

Credit unions are known for promoting financial literacy in their communities—and that reputation is growing with the help of local businesses. Recently, My Community Federal Credit Union provided the NEFE High School Financial Planning curriculum to 2,000 Permian High School students, with the aim of teaching students about personal finance, budgeting principles, saving, and investment options.

The six-week program culminated in a CU4 Reality Fair sponsored by My Community FCU and featuring 15 local businesses like Chevy of Odessa, Best Buy, Farmers Insurance, H-E-B, My Investment Services, the US Army, Verizon Wireless, and the Worker's Commission.

The event took place at the Permian High School PE Gym on campus. Each business set up booths where they challenged students to put their new knowledge to use and helped them decide what to add to their budget sheets. Afterward, students were directed to financial counseling tables where representatives from My Community FCU went over their budget sheets to see how well they did and whether they had money left over—or not.

My Community FCU Marketing Manager Autumn Blankenship said she noticed that students were choosing professions they might not necessarily go into just because of the large salary they offered. For instance, Krzysztyanka Callejos and Jasmine Campos, both 17-year-old seniors, picked careers of graphic design and photography, respectively. Sophomore Hannah LeBlanc picked being a chef as a career while sophomores Timothy Diaz and Christopher Reddick decided to become lawyers. They said they felt the fair would help them in life.

Spanish teacher Rocio Chacon said, “I think some of them are going to understand their parents a little bit more.”

Blankenship said the credit union provided three essay questions to teachers for use after the event. If students completed the questions, they would be entered into a drawing for one of three $500 Visa gift cards.

My Community is focused on helping to support financial literacy in the community and schools, Blankenship noted, and the fair is one way to do that. “This is something we offer any school that’s willing to do it,” she said. “It’s just our way of giving back to the community.”

My Community Chief Financial Officer Mark Williams said his favorite thing about the reality fair is giving students a chance to experience life on paper, so they get to make mistakes that don’t impact them in real life.

For more about My Community Federal Credit Union, please visit mycommunityfcu.com