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People's Trust FCU and Pineywoods Chapter to Give Teens a 'Reality Check' with Financial Reality Fairs
Monday, May 12, 2014 6:50 AM

Tomorrow, students at two different high schools in the Cornerstone Credit Union League region will get an important lesson in money management. People’s Trust FCU and the Pineywoods Chapter of Credit Unions (Chapter) will each present the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair. 

“In 2013, the student loan debt was $1.2 trillion dollars, the second highest consumer debt after mortgages! These spiraling numbers have a negative impact on our economy,” notes Linda Birt, relationship coordinator with People's Trust FCU. Credit unions are committed to educating members and non-members on how to make sound financial decisions that create asset building, financial options and financial independence.”

Some 40 students are expected to participate in the Pineywoods Chapter CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair to be held at Hudson High School in Lufkin, Texas. And 95 students are expected to participate in the fair presented by People’s Trust FCU, which will be held at Kerr High School in Houston. The CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fairs give participants a chance to see how career selection impacts their financial well-being and their life choices. 

Through this simulated real-world environment, CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair participants will create a spending plan based on a salary and juggle needs versus wants to make sure they are living within their means. Participants will meet with representatives of auto dealerships, realtors, lenders, utility providers, retailers and others to help them understand the real expenses they will face in adulthood and the choices they’ll need to make to avoid falling in to debt.  The exercise reinforces the importance of sound money management and brings students one step closer to the types of financial pitfalls they may encounter in the “real world.”

The Cornerstone Credit Union League makes CU 4 Reality Fairs available to REAL Solutions credit unions and chapters, with additional support from the Cornerstone Foundation, the Friends of Consumer Freedom and the National Credit Union Foundation. 

“The Pineywoods Chapter of Credit Unions understands the importance of financial responsibility and we want to show it in a fun and exciting way to the students at Hudson High School,” says Lufkin Federal Credit Union CEO Julianne Slusher and vice president for the Pineywoods Chapter. “These students from the time they first make money at a part-time job until long after they retire will need to be responsible and manage their money in a way that we more seasoned adults do not.”

“These students may not have Social Security, or company retirement plans to fall back on. Their future could be what they save, so it’s critical that they have the tools to do so,” Slusher continued.