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Hundreds of Youth Get a Lesson in Financial Reality


Financial education in 2014 is all about our financial reality program called Mad City Money. This fun, interactive event remains our most popular and most effective tool for teaching youth about smart money management.    

So far we’ve facilitated four Mad City Money events, with fantastic youth participation!


Mad City Money gives teens and young adults the opportunity to experience what it's like to live and support a family in the real world. In Mad City, each participant has a job and income. They also have responsibilities like a spouse and children to provide for, medical insurance payments, student loan debt and credit card debt. Their challenge is to visit "merchant" stations to purchase housing, transportation, food, clothing, child care and more, all without running out of money. And before they finish they may receive a visit from Fate, who delivers unexpected expenses.


During the activity participants make mistakes that carry financial consequences, just like in real life. But they also learn how basic personal finance skills can help them avoid those mistakes. Young people gain a valuable new perspective that helps them appreciate what they have, and inspires them to prepare for the future.


May 1      Baldwin Park High School110 participants

May 31    Duarte High School147 participants

June 6     Lynwood High School65 participants

June 21   Boyle Heights Neighborhood City Hall107 participants

This year's Mad City Money events, funded in part by a Community Grant from Edison International, helped participating youth increase their understanding of basic personal finance by 31% on average!

We want to provide the Mad City Money experience for 400 more youth this year – that’s a big goal. Just imagine the impact this empowering experience can have on a large scale! We’re counting on the monetary support of our private donors, corporate sponsors and grant funders to help us achieve this goal. If you agree that today’s youth need financial education, please consider making a donation.

Want to provide hands-on help?  We’d love to have you play the role of a Mad City merchant at an upcoming event. It’s fun, easy and very rewarding!  Click here to join our Volunteer Roster. Once we confirm the next event dates, we’ll contact you to see if you’re available – it’s that easy!