On Friday, March 22, 2019 West Genesee High School held their Mad City Money event; an in-school simulation city wherein students were assigned roles including jobs, spouses, children, and debt, so they could experience the trials and tribulations of their financial futures. The event, facilitated by Westar Federal Credit Union, provided the sophomore class students with the opportunity to foster a more educated understanding of how their financial responsibilities affect every aspect of their lives.
Cindy Kraus from Westar FCU has been integral in this event’s curation and success, noting the passion of the credit union and its staff allowed for the event to facilitate a lasting relationship between the students and their financial futures. “Westar FCU supports the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’,” Kraus said, “teaching students valuable financial life skills is one of our most important duties.” This is the second year the district’s Mad City Money event has been a grade-wide event, focusing this year on the sophomore class with the hopes of educating these teens at an important time in their academic careers.
Nicole Swete, Business Department Chair at West Genesee High School, saw the event through from its inception to the packing up of tables at the end of the event. She, like the community and the credit union, felt as though this simulation city could instill some good habits with students in regards to their financial responsibilities. “We are so fortunate that Westar FCU is able to come in and put on such a fabulous event for our students,” Swete said, “they learn so many life lessons about financial decision making while participating in this fun, real-life activity. The knowledge they develop from this activity will stay with them as they graduate and begin to handle their own finances.”
The simulation was done in two sessions with sophomore class students and community volunteers working together to make sure the event ran smoothly. Westar FCU and its student branch, The Wildcat Branch, were overwhelmed by the amount of community support, noting the work done by each individual lead to the success of all.