Foundation grantee expands reality fair initiative to reach more students

First Florida Credit Union received an Experiential Learning Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation recently to increase the number of students that participate in Reality Fairs in their community by reaching 700 students. They are already off to a great start!

First Florida’s Reality Fair program – their “Mad City Money initiative” – has been at the forefront of this growth. Brought on board in 2013, the program has grown in popularity and delivery channels. The free event transforms venues into interactive cities where teenagers adopt new identities and learn to navigate real-world scenarios such as balancing a checkbook, budgeting a household income and establishing a savings plan.

The simulation establishes a fun, safe environment to show teenagers how everyday costs, financial mistakes and unexpected events can affect their lives. Mad City Money isn’t your typical seminar on financial management. Teens interact with mock merchants played by First Florida staff and volunteers, who range from realtors to car salesman. The interactive environment provides participants with a fun, memorable opportunity to gain a new understanding of the real world they will soon be entering.

First Florida’s Mad City Money initiative has grown proportionally in the past two years, already making tremendous strides in achieving their goal of growing their financial reality fair initiative by adding new partners with an emphasis on reaching students through school involvement. Also, many of the youth First Florida has been able to reach include those affiliated with agencies that deal with low income and troubled youth.

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