On October 10th, BECU hosted three Highline schools for a Financial Reality Fair during Closing for Good, BECU’s annual company-wide volunteer day. Student Minh Huynh reported on the experience and shared thoughts with us.
By Minh Huynh, Highline High School Student
Hearing about the Financial Fair coming up, I wasn't super excited nor interested about it since we had done this before at school and I thought it wasn't that realistic. But I'll admit when I heard the whole school was going to downtown for this, the BECU people are putting in work to make sure that everyone gets the whole deal about being in the real world and taking care of our finances. I was kind of impressed about it because if they're serious about our financial education, then I should take advantage of this experience more importantly since college is around the corner which means independence. After college, I'll enter into the real world and taking care of myself so with the financial experience, I hope I can manage my own money in my way while saving money.
During the beginning of the Financial Fair, a lot of things were happening at once – like a massive crowd of students and teachers was trying to get into the designated area and it was not looking smooth but the BECU people were able to handle the traffic and guide everyone to the location. Once introductions were given by the principal, CEO of BECU, and others, every student started to get productive and busy with their own financial “reality”.
I'll tell you, everyone was putting work into their own “reality” like me. Knowing my credentials, a set of income, and knowing bills I needed to pay made me cautious to know what I need to buy and what I want to buy. There were a lot of things I wanted but there were a lot of things I needed so it was bittersweet part of the experience, but it's definitely a part that an adult would have to act on throughout their life.
The financial counseling part was definitely something where I absorbed a lot of knowledge and perspective. My financial counselor's name was Alicia and she helped me through the financial stress I had due to all of my income I had left went into the negatives. She was really great, laughed at my jokes, and gave a lot of insight of why I need to buy this first so throughout the future, I'm able to buy the things I want later. She personally told me how she's able to manage her own financial situation throughout her years while giving me a good background of her life which it's really cool to me that I can get to know someone for a brief moment and learn how someone else managed their money.
Overall this fair had gave me a lot of knowledge and insight of what an adult's life is like and how they managed their money so it was really worth it. This fair should happen again because it's going to put you as an adult with a background, your set of income and it's going to be your job to handle what you want and what you need. For sure, I'm going to take what I learned and apply it throughout my years. Thanks BECU. :)