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Zeal Credit Union Hosts Financial Reality Fair for Local Students

Dearborn, MI - On May 22, 2019, over 220 Fordson High School economics students participated in a Financial Reality Fair sponsored by Zeal Credit Union.  The fair was held in the school’s media center during the school day.   

The Financial Reality Fair, supported by the Michigan Credit Union Foundation, is a hands-on experience in which students make real world financial decisions based on a career path of their choice and a provided salary.  Students make choices regarding their own housing, transportation, leisure activities, and more.  Each student concludes their experience by meeting with a financial counselor to make sure that the choices they have made are within their budget.  Financial counselors often make suggestions about how students can increase their savings balance and reduce debt.

“The more that we can prepare our youth for their lives as adults, the better,” stated Tiffany Sweet, youth and community development coordinator for Zeal Credit Union. “Financial Reality Fairs are the perfect opportunity to give students a snapshot of what life after high school is like.”

Zeal Credit Union supports youth financial education throughout the year by offering 7 student-run credit union branches in Livonia, Clarenceville, and Redford Union school districts.  Sweet also visits classrooms and meets with community groups to provide free financial presentations.  Zeal Credit Union’s youth education programs reached over 1,400 students during the 2018-2019 school year.

“Through our work with career academies and based on feedback from our business and community partners about the importance of teaching personal financial literacy in high school, we were very excited to partner with Zeal Credit Union to bring the Reality Fair to over 220 of our junior students,” stated Colleen Schumm, Academy Coach for the Academies at Dearborn at Fordson High School.

Schumm continued, “feedback about the fair from students and volunteers was overwhelmingly positive, and the students, especially, loved the real world and hands on nature of the event that allowed them to put classroom lessons into practice for themselves.”

Students were given a survey following their experience, and the responses reflected students’ learning about how to manage money without going into debt.  Students commented that managing your money is hard and emphasized the need to save for things like repairs and emergencies.  Some students even shared that they learned how credit scores impact purchases and expenses.

“Nearly 30 volunteers came together to make this experience possible,” stated Sweet.  “The staff at Fordson High School was fantastic to work with and I am looking forward to partnering with them again in the future.”

“We are excited to bring this event to even more students next year,” added Schumm.  “Thank you, Zeal, for bringing this wonderful event to our school!”

Zeal Credit Union is a full-service, non-profit financial institution with more than 65,000 members, assets exceeding $600 million and 13 full-service branch offices in metro Detroit. Members also have access to more than 5,000 shared branches and nearly 30,000 ATMs nationwide. Member deposits are insured to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. government agency. For more information about Zeal Credit Union, visit the credit union website www.ZealCreditUnion.org or call 800-321-8570.


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