BELLINGHAM,WA (June 5, 2024) — This May, WECU proudly hosted two Bite of Reality events at Bellingham High School and Shuksan Middle School. The events saw over 90 enthusiastic teens participate in an engaging, hands-on financial education experience, designed to impart the practical skills needed for managing finances in a fun and interactive setting.

Developed by the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation, Bite of Reality allows students to step into the shoes of adults navigating real-world financial scenarios. Each participant receives a fictional occupation, salary, credit score, family, loan debt, and medical insurance obligations. Using the Bite of Reality app, they make decisions on purchasing necessities such as housing, transportation, food, and childcare, while also dealing with persuasive “salespeople.” These simulated financial challenges provide teens with valuable insights into the complexities of adult financial responsibilities.

At the events, WECU managed the credit union station, assisting participants with credit card payments, overdrawn accounts, and savings inquiries. “We are thrilled to partner with local schools to bring the Bite of Reality program to students,” said Cherish Flint, WECU Financial Wellness Representative. “Financial literacy is a crucial skill for youth, and this event offers a practical and engaging way for students to learn about managing their finances.”

In collaboration with GoWest, WECU’s Bite of Reality event aimed to equip students with essential financial skills such as budgeting, saving, managing unexpected expenses, and understanding credit. The activities underscored the importance of making informed financial decisions and highlighted the potential long-term impacts of those choices. This complimentary program is dedicated to providing teens with financial knowledge they might not acquire at home or in a traditional school setting.

Students were excited to participate and gain a better understanding of real-world expenses and financial decision-making. “Every student that attended said how much they enjoyed the event,” shared Beth Insera, Shuksan Middle School AVID teacher. “It was such a great experience that wrapped up all our learning this year around financial literacy.”

WECU remains committed to supporting financial education in the community and looks forward to hosting more events like this in the future.

About WECU

WECU, originally established in 1936 as Bellingham Teachers Credit Union, is a thriving credit union headquartered in Bellingham, Washington. With a rich history and commitment to the community, WECU extends its financial services to individuals and businesses across the entire state of Washington. Boasting a dedicated team of over 400 local professionals, WECU takes pride in serving a vast membership base exceeding 170,000 individuals. The credit union’s robust financial standing is reflected in its assets, surpassing $2.8 billion.