Center for Financial Empowerment Teaches Boyle Heights Youth Smart Money Habits Through Reality Seminar

“Mad City Money” participants’ financial knowledge improved by an average of 27 percent

Jun 27, 2014 | News & Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IRWINDALE, Calif. (June 27, 2014) – More than 100 young adults from the Boyle Heights, Calif. area put their personal finance skills to the test during the Center for Financial Empowerment’s “Mad City Money” event – a financial reality seminar for teenagers. SCE Federal Credit Union founded the non-profit, the Center for Financial Empowerment, and hosted the event at its new Boyle Heights branch on June 21.

Boyle Heights residents’ median household income is well below the average of Los Angeles County, and the reality seminar, which marks the Center’s fourth event of 2014, is designed to educate youth from low-income families about responsible money management.

“The greatest need for financial literacy exists in low-income communities, where youth are at a major disadvantage of learning how to manage their finances,” said Abigail Ulm, Manager of the Center for Financial Empowerment. “We’re helping kids from these neighborhoods achieve future financial success by teaching them priceless skills through our classes and reality simulations, while also offering access to affordable financial services through SCE Federal Credit Union.”

During the Mad City Money workshop, participants ages 15 to 21 were immersed in adult life scenarios, complete with a career, income, student/home loans, family and insurance payments.  The young adults were taught budgeting and debt-management techniques, how to use credit wisely and how to make smarter financial decisions.

“This was a huge learning experience for our participants,” said Ulm. “Most of the young adults were overwhelmed by making financial decisions at first, but by the end of the workshop, they were more confident and demonstrated a clearer understanding about the importance financial responsibility.”

Based on surveys taken before and after the event, the participants’ knowledge about basic financial choices improved by an average of 27 percent as a result of the reality simulation activity.

All workshop participants were employed in the Summer Youth Employment Program, part of L.A.’s Economic and Workforce Development Department that provides jobs to young adults from low-income households. The event was the result of SCE Federal Credit Union’s collaborative efforts with seven community agencies dedicated to serving low-income youth and families in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.

Today, only four states in the U.S. require high school students to take a semester of financial literacy, and 20 others require financial literacy training to be incorporated into their curriculums; California is not one of them.

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About Center for Financial Empowerment, formerly SCE FCU Foundation

The Center for Financial Empowerment is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable agency whose mission is to educate underserved youth and families in the principles of personal finance. The Center partners with schools and community organizations in Southern California and Southern Nevada to offer financial education, assistance, and improvement programs, giving people the power to make better financial choices and achieve an improved quality of life. Formerly called the SCE FCU Foundation, the Center changed its name in September 2013, to position itself for future growth. SCE Federal Credit Union is the founder and primary supporter of the Center for Financial Empowerment.

 

About SCE FCU

SCE Federal Credit Union was founded in 1952 and currently has more than 46,000 members, $600 million in assets, several Southern California and Southern Nevada branch locations, thousands of shared branch locations across the United States and nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs available to members. 

SCE FCU serves all of Southern California and Southern Nevada, with membership open to individuals and businesses, and is a not-for-profit entity committed to improving the financial well-being of the communities it serves, especially people underserved by mainstream financial institutions. With a strong commitment to volunteerism, employees donate hundreds of hours to local community causes each year. Additionally, the creation of the Center for Financial Empowerment, formerly the SCE FCU Foundation provides much-needed financial education to the underserved and high schools in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Duarte, Baldwin Park, Ontario, Lynwood and Boyle Heights, California.