Roseville High School seniors learn real-world money lessons

ROSEVILLE, CA (May 5, 2014) — Nearly 200 Roseville High School seniors participated in “Bite of Reality,” an interactive financial simulation aimed at teaching them how to manage money in real-world scenarios. Five different credit unions — Golden 1, Patelco, SAFE, Schools Financial, and First U.S. Community — came together to staff the event with 30 volunteers. Two employees from the California Department of Education also volunteered.

The simulation began with students receiving a randomly assigned profile that included a career, income, and bills. The participants then visited a series of stations staffed  by volunteers who “sold” housing, transportation, groceries, and other recurring expenses. There were many different profiles, some of which included a family with young children to challenge students to balance personal wants with family needs such as daycare.

“Kids are so expensive! I didn’t realize how much daycare and diapers cost,” said one participant, a sentiment echoed by many other students. Reactions from students about the overall simulation varied, with some teens expressing more respect for their parents now that they know the difficulties of managing expenses, while other students conveyed stress and frustration at having to budget so carefully.

“The great thing about Bite of Reality is that it is presents this important life skill in a much more hands-on, active way,” said Sharon Tallon, Patelco Credit Union’s Community Outreach Manager.

“You can really see and hear the students absorbing the information as they go from station to station,” added Beverly Barkhurst, Patelco’s Sacramento-area Business Development Representative and the organizer of the event,

This is the third time Patelco and the Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ) Foundation have run the simulation at Roseville High School. The first was in May 2013, with 40 students from the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, and the second in November 2013, with more than 200 students. Bite of Reality is the signature program of the RMJ Foundation, and the program is currently being offered by credit union facilitators throughout California and Nevada.

About the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation

Founded in 1958, the Foundation is dedicated to supporting credit union efforts in spreading the financial literacy message to young people. In addition to the Bite of Reality program, the Foundation also provides scholarships for credit union volunteers and staff to attend seminars and conferences to further their educational and professional development. It is funded through donations from credit unions, Credit Union league chapters, corporations providing credit union services, and individuals. For more information, visit

About Patelco Credit Union

Founded in 1936, Patelco Credit Union ranks among the largest credit unions in the nation and is the sixth largest in California with more than $4 billion in assets and 277,000 members. Throughout its 78-year history, Patelco has helped people and their communities prosper through volunteer initiatives and personalized service that focuses on transparency, simplicity in banking, and garnering trust. Patelco is a federally insured, not-for-profit, full-service credit union that offers the same types of products and services as large banks. For more information, visit

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