Many financial institutions will be closed for the federal holiday on October 14, but Redwood Credit Union (RCU) will be closed for a different reason: to send all 700 of its employees out to teach practical financial skills to more than 3,000 high school students across three North Bay counties.
The program is called Bite of Reality, and has been presented by RCU to local high school students since 2013, but never at such large scale. On this one impactful day, RCU will send its workforce to 15 schools in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties. (See Addendum below for county-specific schools.) Students will learn how to budget for and manage the costs of securing necessities like housing, food, transportation, childcare, and paying other bills—a litany of responsibilities colloquially referred to as “adulting.”
“We believe money management is an essential life skill for young people to learn,” said Brett Martinez, RCU President and CEO. “However, because it’s not a graduation requirement, financial education differs greatly between schools. The Bite of Reality program helps fill in gaps, giving teens an eye-opening introduction to the everyday money challenges they will face as adults, and to navigating those financial decisions wisely.”
Elected officials slated to attend this year’s Bite of Reality include Congressman Mike Thompson and Senator Bill Dodd in Napa, and Congressman Jared Huffman in San Rafael.
In Bite of Reality, students receive a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. They then visit various table-top stations to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other essentials. The game also includes a credit union station to help with their financial needs if they overspend.
For more information about the Bite of Reality program, visit RCU’s website.
About Redwood Credit Union
Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. Wealth management and investment services are available through CUSO Financial Services L.P., and through RCU Services Group (RCU’s wholly owned subsidiary), insurance and auto-purchasing services are also available. RCU has over $4.7 billion in assets and serves more than 344,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, plus more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates.
[Programs at all schools begin in the morning. If you plan on attending, please contact us for specific times and details.]
Participating Sonoma County High Schools
- Cloverdale High School
- Elsie Allen High School
- Maria Carrillo High School
- North Met Academy
- Piner High School
- Ridgway High School
- Sonoma Valley High School
- Windsor High School
Participating Napa County High Schools
- American Canyon High School
- Napa High School
- Valley Oak High School
Participating Marin County High Schools
- San Marin High School
- San Rafael High School
- Tomales High School
- Novato High School