Bite of Reality takes off

Richard Myles Johnson Foundation Program Reached More than 1,800 During April, Financial Literacy Month

(April 30 2015) — The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation’s Bite of Reality program has taken off in 2015, reaching more than 3,800 students thus far throughout California and Nevada. During the month of April—also Financial Literacy Month—a record 17 events were held, reaching about 1,870 youth.

The program—launched in 2012 by the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada—aims to teach young people the basics of finance by having them take a “real world” test drive complete with a job, money, and the freedom to make their own financial decisions. The teens are given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. They then visit various stations to “purchase” items such as housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, and daycare. Those staffing the “credit union” station provide much-needed assistance when some overspend.

To get a look at one of the events—held in February for Upward Bound students at Cal State Long Beach and hosted by Manhattan Beach, CA-based Kinecta FCU—go to ( The video is by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ C-Sun Studios.

In addition to Kinecta FCU, other credit unions hosting events in April included Bay FCU, Delta Schools FCU (Antioch, CA), Desert Valleys FCU (Ridgecrest, CA), Kaiperm North Bay CU (Walnut Creek, CA), Orange County’s CU (Santa Ana, CA), Redwood CU (Santa Rosa, CA), San Bernardino School Employees FCU, San Francisco FCU, San Mateo CU (Redwood City, CA), SkyOne FCU (Hawthorne, CA), Schools Financial CU (Sacramento, CA), SchoolsFirst FCU (Santa Ana, CA), South Bay CU (Redondo Beach, CA), Wescom CU (Pasadena, CA), and Xceed Financial CU (El Segundo, CA).

From January through March, another 22 events were held, including those hosted by California Coast CU (San Diego, CA), Greater Nevada CU (Carson City, CA), and Financial Horizons CU (Hawthorne, NV). SchoolsFirst FCU hosted one for 435 intermediate school students in Santa Ana. San Bernardino School EFCU held one for the San Bernardino Adult School—a first for the program which is primarily geared toward high school students.

And in May, 13 more are planned so far, including ones hosted by Van Nuys, CA-based LA Police CU and the Southern Nevada Chapter.

“The Bite of Reality program is a great opportunity for credit unions to do good in their communities while, at the same time, ensuring the next generation of credit union members is financially savvy—and aware of credit unions in their community,” said Tena Lozano, executive director of the RMJ Foundation.

For more information on the program or to donate to the RMJ Foundation, please contact Tena Lozano at, or by phone at 909.212.6057.

The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation, founded in 1958, is dedicated to supporting credit union efforts in spreading the financial literacy message to young people. The Foundation offers the Bite of Reality program, a hands-on simulation program that teaches the basics of finances to teenagers. It is funded through donations from credit unions, League chapters, corporations providing credit union services, and individuals. More information about the Foundation is available at its website at

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