Glendora High School students got a real Bite of Reality on Jan. 30 and 31, through an interactive simulation hosted by Foothill Credit Union. The simulation, aptly named Bite of Reality, allows students to adopt a persona complete with a job, spouse, children, and of course a monthly budget. Students then move through the simulation to purchase everyday needs while trying to stay within their allotted household income.
The program was developed by the Richard Miles Johnson Foundation, in association with the California-Nevada Credit Union League. The program can easily be run on students’ smart phones or tablets through a mobile app, which works well with high school students who are already pros at completing many tasks from their digital devises.
In order for the program to be successful, the credit union relies heavily on volunteers to help run the simulation. Volunteers work a table and try to sell their table’s goods to the students, such as entertainment options, housing, transportation, or groceries and dining out options.
One volunteer was Glendora’s very own Past School Board President Cory Ellenson, who stated, “I have heard from countless voters and employers that their number one request of our school district is to teach our students life skills. The Bite of Reality program perfectly addresses that with a fun real-life, interactive simulation. We are grateful to Foothill Credit Union for providing this invaluable opportunity.”
The simulation concludes by allowing the students to give feedback on their experience and share what they found most challenging. Many students finish with a greater appreciation for what their parents provide for them. Glendora High teacher Scott Turner said “It’s a great taste of their future reality. My students were overwhelmed and not very knowledgeable. I wanted them to have more motivation to take my personal finance course.” After the simulation, students have a better understanding the difference between wants and needs and how to fit them both info a budget.
Foothill strives to help members improve their Financial Well-being. The credit union offers several educational seminars and online learning tools for both members and non-members. Foothill has recognized the important in education today’s youth in financial matters in order to help them be better prepared for all of life’s financial ups and downs.