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Mad City Money teaches real world to Calif. students
ONTARIO, Calif. (10/7/11)--Twenty-eight students from a Santa Ana, Calif., high school received a taste of the financial realities of paying mortgages, buying cars and paying for groceries during a "Mad City Money" financial simulation event Sept. 24.
Click to view larger image Representatives of Orange County, Calif., credit unions served as "merchants" during the Orange County Chapter-sponsored Mad City Money financial simulation event in Santa Ana, Calif., where students from Century High School got a lesson in the basics of finances.
Century High School student Neleyda Sanchez speaks with Leticia Mata, assistant vice present of community education at Orange County's CU, Santa Ana, Calif., during a Mad City Money financial reality simulation game sponsored by credit unions. Mata acted as a grocery store merchant during the event. (Photos provided by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues)
Mad City Money is the Credit Union National Association's simulation game where students are "transported" into a future and must manage all the financial responsibilities. The event, which took place at Century High School's Business Academy in Santa Ana, was sponsored by credit unions in the Orange County Chapter of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. For Sandra Alvarez, who plans to be a Google executive, the two-hour game was eye-opening, especially upon learning the consequences of credit card debt. "The biggest thing I learned today is that I need to go to college, and look for a job to support myself and my family," she said. Another student, William Sanchez, also was taken aback by the amount of debt one can accumulate so quickly. "(I learned) to keep better track of the money I spend and keep better track of my debt," he said. "It was a really good thing to go through all of this." Seventeen volunteers from four credit unions acted as merchants and business people--including the staff of a credit union. "Not only did we as 'merchants' get to see the students in action as they considered their options, but we had a chance to learn their perspective on how they view the world and the many challenges they face," said Marina Miller, Orange County Chapter president and SchoolsFirst FCU internal service center manager. "It was very rewarding and encouraging to see that we have a great group of upcoming leaders." The chapter helps facilitate the league's goals of providing education, advocacy and information.


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