Umass-Five, GCC to host 6th ‘reality fair’ for high school students

  • Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Mass. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield Community College File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 3/14/2019 3:41:11 PM

GREENFIELD — UMass-Five College Federal Credit Union and Greenfield Community College will host their sixth annual Reality Fair for local high school seniors. Also joining the event this year are partners from Franklin First Credit Union. The event will take place over two days from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Greenfield Community College.

Students from Greenfield High School, Mohawk Regional High School, Four Rivers Public Charter School, Frontier Regional School, and Franklin County Technical School will attend the event on March 19. Students from Amherst-Pelham Regional High School, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion School, and Turners Falls High School will attend the event on March 21. It is expected that over 400 high school students will attend the event between the two days.

Originally created by credit unions, the Reality Fair program asks high school students to envision themselves at 25 years old. With an assigned starting salary based on a career choice they have identified, students are tasked with making important spending and savings decisions by visiting booths where they are asked to choose between housing options, transportation packages, meal plans, clothing choices, and more. Once students have worked through balancing their monthly budget, they will sit down with a financial counselor to review their standing.

Due to its success in helping high school students understand the weighted realities of their financial decisions, this program has been adopted nationwide by both credit unions and banks alike. This particular Reality Fair  brings together not just local financial institutions, but volunteers from Greenfield Community College, the Northwest District Attorney’s Office, and other parts of the community to provide reliable advice and support high school students.

The UMassFive College Federal Credit Union was established in 1967 and serves the University of Massachusetts as well as the Five College System and over 50 other non-profits, co-ops, and municipalities.

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