Local credit unions teach students about future finances

ISHPEMING — Over 300 students from six area high schools got a dose of reality on Thursday.

U.P. Catholic Credit Union and TruNorth Credit Union collaborated on the second Financial Reality Fair at Westwood High School. The program was created by the Michigan Credit Union League.



Students from Negaunee, Westwood, Republic-Michigamme, Gwinn, Northstar Academy, and Marquette Alternative high schools were assigned a career, a salary and a credit score before entering the fair. From there, students were told to keep a balanced budget while juggling costs from 13 different spending groups, from food and clothing to leisure and entertainment.

“It’s really kind of a small dose of reality for the kids before they’re sent off to college and have to start making spending choices,” said Shae Kangas, a member advocate at TruNorth.

“It’s basically to learn how to budget money, how to deal with real world problems and how to manage it to the best of your ability and to be able to save properly,” said Dondre Yohe, a senior at Ishpeming High School.

Forty volunteers from local businesses and volunteer groups aided the students in making financially responsible choices at the fair.