Students Experience Billion Dollar Valentine's Day With SCE FCU!

Feb 25, 2011 | In The Community

The SCE FCU Foundation showed its affection for local students by treating a group of them to a Valentine’s Day surrounded by billions of dollars!

Twenty-seven Duarte High School students were selected to tour the interior workings of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Los Angeles branch, a trip arranged and sponsored by the SCE FCU Foundation. The students selected previously attended financial education classes through the SCE FCU Foundation and met minimum GPA requirements. Chaperoned by teachers, Credit Union managers and the mayor of Duarte, Tzeitel Paras-Carraci, students got up close and personal with billions in cold hard cash. While they never touched any of it, they did get to see the process of how it’s delivered, verified, sorted, strapped and stored in a vault the size of a football field. They learned how worn out currency is taken out of circulation and destroyed, and they also witnessed the impressive security measures taken to protect all that money.

Students watched Federal Reserve Bank employees load currency into the high speed computer-controlled machines that can intercept potential counterfeits and destroy old, worn out notes. They got to stand at the gate of the gigantic vault and actually experience the “smell of new money.” One of the highlights of the tour was a display of currency notes dating back to the earliest forms of US currency, and an explanation of how and why the design of our currency has changed throughout our country’s history.

Amazed by the sight of all that cash, the students also learned about the Federal Reserve itself. As the central banking system of the United States, the Fed conducts the nation’s monetary policy, supervises and regulates banking institutions, maintains the stability of the financial system, and provides financial services to depository institutions, the US government and foreign official agencies. Most people think the Federal Reserve is a government agency, but the students learned that’s not true. Despite its name, the Fed is actually an independent nonprofit, operating within the government.

After the 75-minute tour, the students were treated to a gourmet lunch and a special presentation on Community Economic Development – specifically, how their personal financial behaviors will affect the economy of the local community where they live and work. Since these students have already participated in the Foundation’s financial education training, this presentation helped reinforce the importance of smart money management skills. It was an experience, and a Valentine’s Day, not soon to be forgotten!

More pictures are on our FaceBook page!