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Wichita Falls Chapter and CU Team Up for High School Reality Fair
Thursday, January 22, 2015 7:00 AM

Wichita Falls Reality Fair
Wichita Falls Teachers FCU Member Services Supervisor Curt Hampton helps students at the Iowa Park High School Reality Fair.

Wichita Falls Teachers Federal Credit Union and the Wichita Falls Chapter of Credit Unions teamed up to hold a Reality Fair at Iowa Park High School on Jan. 14. 

Over 100 high school seniors attended both a morning and afternoon session. The Reality Fairs give students a budget, lifestyle, debt, and all the details of a "fake" life and require the student to navigate through different stations, such as the bank, government agencies, and even jail. The kids are forced to make the kind of adult decisions they might make later in their own real lives. The process is helpful as they learn about budgeting under real world circumstances. 

This is the first time the chapter and the credit union came together to host a Reality Fair. The teachers and the staff at the high school were supportive throughout the event; and the teenagers were very engaged with the process.

Some students had some very humorous takes on their living situations, such as:

  • "These student loans are killing me!"
  • "How can I afford to live on this?"
  • "The dog has to go."
  • "I’m not giving up my 60-inch TV!"

One of the teachers volunteering said she would love to put on Reality Fairs as her full-time job. 

Texoma Community Credit Union CFO Kate Donovan said, "I think this truly shows the credit union difference. You would never see a bunch of banks working together on a project like this. I'm so glad our industry sees the value in educating our youth on budgeting and preparing for their future. All of the credit union employees involved were so excited to be there and just really willing to pitch in and make the event a success."

Elizabeth Schenck of Windthorst Federal Credit Union coordinated the entire event with the high school; and the credit union and chapter have already been asked to come back and hold the same event for the seniors next year. 

The credit union volunteers who helped make this event possible include:

  • Julie Farr, PosTel Family Credit Union
  • Glenda Johnson and Charlie Fears, Secured Advantage Federal Credit Union
  • Judy Koetter and Elizabeth Schenk, Windthorst Federal Credit Union
  • Curt Hampton and Natalie Case, Wichita Falls Teachers Federal Credit Union
  • Chantel Brooks and Monica Jones, Union Square Federal Credit Union
  • Rachel Wheat, Tiffany Jetton, Suzanne Ellis, and Kate Donovan, Texoma Community Credit Union