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High school students get ‘reality check’

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) – La Crescent high school juniors and seniors had a Monday morning reality check – literally.

Altra Federal Credit Union spent their ‘Give Back Day’ teaching the students life lessons about managing money as adults. It’s the first time the Reality Check event has come to La Crescent.

“You have to go through and spend your money on expenses you need and it kind of puts into perspective how much money you actually need to cover all these costs and what you need to do if you don’t have that much money,” said La Crescent Junior Maddie Danielson.

More than a dozen booths representing various life obstacles like childcare, health insurance, car payments, rent, or mortgages. There was even a local police officer present handing out tickets. Students were assigned careers, credit scores, and familial obligations along with an income. They had to figure out how to make that money work for a month of independent living.

“It’s more than you’re expecting so you need to be prepared for that,” said Danielson. “I think it’s just being responsible with your money and knowing what you need to get by and to support everyone in your family but not being too extravagant with it so you don’t go over your amount that you’re making per year. If you do need help and you do need more money, you have to go and get another job.”

Altra Federal Credit Union’s Financial Literacy Coordinator Tony Beyer said this is the second year the company has put on the Reality Check event.

“It’s a great opportunity to help students get career-ready and thinking about their future,” Beyer said.

Beyer said Altra closed all locations today so their employees could spend the day volunteering around the community, including at the Reality Check event.

Amber Meyer

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