Volunteers from the business community participated at a recent Financial Reality Fair, which was hosted by Denali, organized by the Kent Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by State Farm.
The event helped teach Kent-Meridian High School students how to manage life finances.
Students were assigned a random and hypothetical career and a monthly budget. They had to make decisions about housing, transportation, food, clothing and insurance. The intended outcome was to prepare students for life after graduation and demonstrate what managing a budget looks like. The volunteers from State Farm, Denali, Jon Bye & Associates, Better Business Bureau and other organizations guided students through the process and helped them learn from their choices.
Students navigated through different stations which were staffed by volunteers. Students visited each station (housing, car dealership, educational institution, clothing, etc.) and made their purchases. In some cases students had to return items they purchased to stay within their budget. Some students indicated it was eye opening to find out they couldn’t afford the car they chose and had to sell it back to afford food and housing.
Derek Dykman, head of Small Business & Investment Services for Denali, emceed the event and provided a short orientation for the volunteers. Zenovia Harris, CEO of the Kent Chamber of Commerce and Ty Cordova from State Farm awarded prizes to student participants.
“The financial fair is a priority for the Kent Chamber of Commerce because we wholeheartedly believe that the youth are a vital piece of the fabric that makes up our community,” Harris said. “As an organization that represents business in the Kent Valley we understand the importance of educating, mentoring and supporting our youth as a necessity to create economic stability and growth.”
Denali is a division of Nuvision Credit Union.