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TCCU Hosts Reality Fair for College-Prep Students at Uplift Academy
Monday, October 2, 2017 6:55 AM

Reality Fair

Fort Worth-based Tarrant County’s Credit Union hosted their first Reality Fair at Uplift Academy in Renaissance Heights on Sept. 20, 2017. 

The Reality Fair was a hands-on event for the 98 high school juniors and 38 high school seniors of the Uplift Mighty Preparatory Academy, a free, public, college-preparatory school located in southeast Fort Worth. The objective of the Fair was to familiarize the students with real-world financial situations. The two sessions focused on life events and financial role-playing to provide the students with scenarios and solutions to life’s setbacks and successes. 

"TCCU’s Reality Fair was a great experience for our scholars," Uplift Academy Dean of Instruction Trey Dodd said. "Two days later, they are still talking about how much things cost and how they can’t afford all the things they thought they could. A great wake-up call for our juniors and seniors that was fun and informative for them."

Reality FairThe Fair exposed the students to financial lessons including budgeting and credit counseling and making good choices when determining needs versus wants. Providing real-world costs allowed a glimpse into their financial futures. The students had the opportunity to spin the Wheel of Reality. The wheel slots offered positive life experiences as well as set-backs. This portion of the Fair taught them to either make the lemonade or enjoy the lemonade, if life dealt them lemons along the way. 

The students waited in long lines and did not want to leave the fair until they met with the credit counselor,” said TCCU VP of Operations Shelli McCoy. "They were really proud of what they had accomplished and were eager to discuss their budget."

The Reality Fair was a part of McCoy’s, year-long DE project focused around a revitalization project in southeast Fort Worth. McCoy had arranged for the Fair to be facilitated by Paula Upchurch, director of Real Solutions for Cornerstone Credit Union League. There were 20 volunteers in attendance to help guide students through the fair. The volunteer contingent comprised staff from other credit unions and credit union partners, including Resource One Credit Union, Unity One Credit Union, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Reality FairTCCU was excited about the opportunity to host the first Reality Fair for the students of the Academy, providing them with financial education and resources to strengthen them for the future ahead.

For more information about the Reality Fair or Tarrant County’s Credit Union, contact Shelli McCoy at or visit

TCCU is an $84 million credit union serving over 10,500 members throughout Tarrant County, Texas. TCCU operates four branches located in Fort Worth, Hurst, Lake Worth, and Arlington.