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SC Telco FCU Reality Fairs Help Students Understand Future Choices

Monday, December 16, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Hardin
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The above video documents a Reality Fair produced by SC Telco FCU for students at Landrum High School. (Video courtesy Landrum High School.)

Since 2012, students at two Upstate high schools have gotten an opportunity to experience a dose of financial reality thanks to SC Telco Federal Credit Union. Called a Reality Fair, the exercise puts students in the role of working adults.

The Reality Fair coordinator assigns each student a career, income level and life situation. Some are single, some are married and some are parents. Some are white collar professionals, while others are blue collar workers. All students navigate a series of booths and make financial choices like any working adult would, from housing and transportation to food and clothing. The object through the 90 minute exercise is for students to manage their money wisely and stay out of debt.  

Seniors at Landrum High School experienced the first Reality of Money simulation in January 2012. More than 100 seniors attended the first simulation at Landrum.The credit union also began doing Reality Fairs at Berea High School in Greenville County. Students at both schools now experience Reality Fair sessions during the school year.

Over the summer, SC Telco did a Reality Fair for 25 Spartanburg County teens in foster care. All told, SC Telco has reached more than 800 students with important financial lessons that will serve them well as they move into the working world.

 "SC Telco is committed to engaging these students at a level that they can relate to, understand easily and have a little fun at the same time," said SC Telco FCU Community Relations Manager Terri Hendrix. "We get survey responses indicating over 90% of those who go through the simulation say that the Reality Fair will change the way they save and spend money, --that’s reward enough for us!”