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Sun-Advertiser: CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair is Back for Second Year
Friday, October 11, 2013 6:40 AM

Chocolate Bayou CU continues its innovative financial literacy event for select students at Alvin and Manvel High Schools this fall semester, reports the Sun-Advertiser. As a Cornerstone Credit Union League (Cornerstone) REAL Solutions credit union, Chocolate Bayou FCU has access to the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair.

Developed by the Financial Literacy Education Committee of America’s Credit Union Museum, in conjunction with the New Hampshire Credit Union League, the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair is designed to provide students with a snapshot into the real world of financial reality.

Over 700 freshmen will reportedly participate in the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair Oct. 16 at Manvel High School. The fair will be held at Alvin High School Nov. 20.

“When you listen to the comments of students who complete one of these fairs, you know something has been imparted,” Gary Davis, president/CEO of Chocolate Bayou CU tells the Sun-Advertiser.

Students who participate in the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair meet with high school counselors or educators beforehand and are given a net monthly pay and a budget worksheet to instruct them on expected expenses. The students make decisions on typical monthly expenses like living arrangements, food, transportation, utilities, clothing, luxury items, etc. Students are also provided with random credit scores that are used to assist in approving or denying loans. At the end of the session they will sit with a financial counselor and review their financial profile.

“We have seen students exclaim ‘I’m going to go home and give my mom a hug’ or return to the automobile booth to return the brand new Chevy truck for a mid-sized car,” Davis tells Sun-Advertiser readers. “This is an exercise in balancing the family budget and it’s good to learn early in life that sometimes you just can’t pay for the truck and an apartment as well.”

The financial education fair is being made available to REAL Solutions credit unions at no charge because of support received from Cornerstone, the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation, the Friends of Consumer Freedom and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). 

According to Paula Upchurch, director of REAL Solutions for Cornerstone, approximately 17 credit unions and chapters in the Cornerstone region are participating in the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair. Last year, 2,400 students were reached through 42 fairs held across the Cornerstone region. Thus far in 2013, approximately 3,673 students have been reached in 56 fairs. Upchurch says the goal is to reach 5,200 students through 68 fairs.

Credit unions interested in learning more about the CU 4 Reality Financial Education Fair and the REAL Solutions program should visit Cornerstone’s web site, at www.cornerstoneleague.coop/real_solutions.html.

If you have any questions, please contact Paula Upchurch, at pupchurch@cornerstoneleague.coop. You can also reach Upchurch by calling (832) 407-7965 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6822.