Western Maryland Area Credit Unions Host 2nd Annual Reality Fair
On Thursday, October 11, 2012, six area credit unions from Allegany County and the Western Maryland Chapter and District of Columbia Credit Union Association hosted the 2nd Annual Financial Reality Fair entitled “Dollars and Sense” for area high school students at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. More than 400 students from Allegany, Fort Hill, and Mountain Ridge High Schools and the Career Center had the opportunity to participate in phases of financial decision-making using real-life scenarios.
Participating Western Maryland credit unions included the Allegany County Teachers FCU, Chessie FCU, Healthcare 1st FCU, Potomac FCU, SECU of Maryland, Inc., and Wepco FCU. “This fair is a first-hand look at financial training for our future residents, employers, and voters,” said Patricia Folk, Western Maryland Chapter President. “We all know how easy it is to become a victim of debt in today’s economy. Hopefully this will give students a better understanding of credit, finances, and budgeting, allowing them to have the best start for a brighter financial future.”
The Financial Reality Fair is a practical exercise in personal financial management, budgeting, and decision-making. In preparation for the fair, student participants chose an occupation of genuine interest to them and were asked to research the salary range for their career path. From there, the students had to make lifestyle choices in housing, transportation, food and clothing, insurance, entertainment, and other categories within a realistic budget. At the conclusion of their selections at the fair, students met with financial counselors who reviewed their budget results and advised them about potential modifications to promote savings.
“The Fair is a unique opportunity for each student to experience some of the financial challenges they will face when they start life on their own,” said Folk. “We’d like to thank the Board of Education for working with us to make this Reality Fair an event that provides students of Allegany County the best financial guidance.”
The Western Maryland Chapter and District of Columbia Credit Union Association is the premier regional trade association for credit unions in the state of Maryland and D.C. It represents 159 credit unions serving more than 2.5 million member-owners. For more information, visit www.mddccua.org.