Reality Bites Students

“When you go home today, I want all you to thank your parents,” Daniel Herrera told a classroom full of students at Muir High School.

Herrera, a certified financial counselor for Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union (PFSCU), worked with two classes at John MuirHigh School this week, with PFSCU’s “Bite of Reality ”experience.

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Herrera, who led the PFSCU team presentation, said, “We loved it. It’s so great to educate and prepare them for what life will throw at them.”

Students in the academy, led by teacher Louis Bond, receive a curriculum that includes business management, finance, accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship, designed to strengthen their leadership, problem-solving, organization, and management skills.

Nearly 75 students, spread across two class sessions, were given several budget scenarios to plan their daily living. As they moved throughout the room, they were asked at various booths to account for a wide range of costs, including housing, transportation, clothing, food, day care, and other necessities.

“We had a lot of kids paying more for their cars than their monthly mortgage payment,” said Herrera. And it got worse.

“One student bought a Lamborghini while his ‘wife’ had a bus pass!,” he laughed. Another student had to return his Hawaiian vacation to the travel company.

You get the idea.

Throw in the cost of children, and the students truly had their minds blown, thus prompting his “Thank your parents” remark.

Herrera also noted that many of the students don’t have any type of savings account for money they might be making now. He explained to them it’s “never too early” to begin saving. He also reminded them that PFSCU has a program for students under the age of 24, and unlike a bank, charges significantly lower fees for checking or savings accounts.

“It’s important to develop good financial habits, and a savings account, no matter how small,” he added.

John Muir High School Early College Magnet, 1905 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 396-5600 or visit

You can visit Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union headquarters at 670 North Rosemead Boulevard, in Pasadena, or call (877) 297-4707 or visit their website Focusing in the greater San Gabriel Valley with 4 branches in Covina, Vernon, Pasadena, and John Muir High School Early College Magnet; they’re your community partner. You can also stay in touch with them on Facebook: Twitter: @PasadenaServFCU Instagram:






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