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Inaugural leg. intern reality fair a success in Mass.
BOSTON (7/14/14)--Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate legislative interns participated in their first reality fair Thursday.
The Scholars and Cents program was sponsored by the City of Boston CU, with $321 million in assets; Mass Bay CU, with $201 million in assets, South Boston; and Metro CU, Chelsea, Mass, with $1.3 billion in assets, the Massachusetts Credit Union League reported ( Daily CU Scan July 11). 
Click to view larger image Dan Picard, special accounts manager, City of Boston CU, addresses participants of the reality fair. (Massachusetts Credit Union League Photo)
Almost 90 students sponsored by 20 senators and 30 representatives gained valuable insight into financial challenges they will face as they emerge from their academic careers to life on their own.  The participating students are enrolled in high school, college and graduate school and have chosen to volunteer in the public sector at the State House.  In addition to local students, attendees were also from Korea, England and Ireland.  The summer legislative intern series incorporates more than 60 programming segments to benefit the students.
Student reactions to their spending and savings habits included, "I'm terrible about money," "I shop too much," and "I can budget for large but not small day-to-day items."  One student commented, "I had no credit and therefore could get no credit."  Another said borrowing is "simply money to repay."
By the end of the program, students openly acknowledged that "food is expensive," that they "needed to read the fine print before accessing credit," and that "retirement is important and needs lots of money."
The daylong program integrated traditional educational exercises with a special identity theft presentation by Patricia Hamilton, director, Public Inquiry and Assistance Center, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. 
The participating credit unions sought to complement their current financial education efforts during the school year by expanding their work into the summer.


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