For Immediate Release June 10, 2014
Contact: Valerie Martinez, Juliette Funes (909) 445-1001

120 Students Participated in Mad City Money Seminar

Lynwood, Calif.Just days ahead of their high school graduation, 120 Lynwood High students got a dose of what it’s like to survive in the real world, complete with grappling with student loan debt, paying bills and raising a family, during a money management seminar on Friday, June 6.

Under the program, called Mad City Money, the Lynwood High School seniors, who are graduating on Wednesday, June 11, engaged in a three-hour hands-on simulation, where they took on the role of an adult with a set income and the responsibility of making endless decisions.

“These students are less than a week away from graduation, and we want them to be prepared for the ‘real’ world – what it means to pay bills, find a job or how financial decisions made now can impact them over a lifetime,” said LUSD Board of Education President Briseida Gonzalez. “These are all things they’re going to have to think about soon, so letting them experience it in this fun and interactive setting served as an eye-opener for students to learn that making good choices can lead them to live a comfortable retirement, finance an education for themselves and achieve the American Dream.”

Lynwood Unified partnered with the City of Lynwood and the SCE Federal Credit Union to put on the event. Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro, who introduced the program to LUSD, said the workshop educates youth about the importance of financial education.

“It would be great if we were all introduced to real-world finances in high school so that when we graduate we already know how to balance our checkbooks, manage our paychecks and already know how to make spending plans – way before we start signing up for credit cards, buying cars and go on shopping sprees,” Castro said. “This Mad City Money Workshop gave kids a taste of having real life money and how it feels to misspend it and lose it when you realize that it doesn’t grow on trees. I applaud the Lynwood Unified School District for putting it together.”

During the event, students were assigned different life scenarios testing their spending decisions and how they deal with unexpected financial situations. Each student was tasked with visiting merchants to select housing, transportation, food, household necessities, clothing, child care and other various wants and needs, all while deciding what they can and can’t afford.

“Managing finances is a lot harder than I thought,” said participant Stephanie Quijada, who was given the role of a scientist with a baby. “This really gave me a good idea of what I can expect in real life and how to be a responsible adult as I move forward.”

The financial literacy workshop allowed the soon-to-be-graduates to explore different options, make mistakes, come to decisions and reevaluate those choices early on, said LUSD Superintendent Paul Gothold.

“As part of Lynwood Unified’s Achieving Greatness Initiative, we have expanded and strengthened our instructional and enrichment programs, as well as support systems for students, to ensure that they are adequately prepared for college and career once they graduate high school,” Gothold said. “While they have the academic tools to reach success, we also want to build in them the financial awareness they need to survive in the real world, and Mad City Money gives them a great hands-on opportunity for them to figure out how to do it.”


MadCityMoney1: Stephanie Quijada, right, with her partner, Xena Renderos, participate the first Mad City Money event at Lynwood High School on June 6, 2014.

MadCityMoney2: Lynwood High seniors go to various stations to “buy” and “pay” for various expenses to learn the value of money management during the Mad City Money virtual event on June 6, 2014.