Orange County’s Credit Union brings real-world financial experiences to the youth

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Nov. 27, 2017 – Orange County’s Credit Union, a Santa Ana-based financial services provider with more than 100,000 Members, is rolling out the “Bite of Reality” program, founded by the Richard Miles Johnson Foundation. In partnership with local youth organizations, the Credit Union is hoping to equip high school and college students with the skills to promote a successful financial future. This complimentary program is dedicated to teaching teens real-world skills that they may not receive otherwise in traditional school settings. During the program, participants will make financial decisions with immediate repercussions that may occur in future real life situations, such as investing in a home, budgeting for child care, and more. 

“As the cost of living in Orange County continues to rise, we are seeing more and more the importance of educating people of all ages on how to plan financially,” says Leticia Mata, AVP, Community Development & Education of Orange County’s Credit Union. “With the Bite of Reality program, we’re able to stage certain situations that help young people be proactive about their future, as opposed to the mindset of only needing to save as you get older.” 

The Bite of Reality program creates a hands-on experience that encourages persistence, creativity, problem solving and cooperative teamwork. Without the traditional classroom lectures and PowerPoint slides, this program will require teens to integrate their knowledge of money, math skills, attitudes about choices and money value. Using an app, teens will be assigned a fictional job, income, family, student loan and credit card debts and tasked with the responsibility of upholding each one. By creating this fictional story line, participants are able to learn basic money management in a safe and fun setting that modifies their spending habits to a positive changed behavior of saving for the future. Bite of Reality will not only help generations to becoming financially responsible, which will also bring financial stability to our communities today. 

“As a local credit union, we’ve started people with their first savings accounts and took them all the way through their mortgage processes,” continued Mata. “Bite of Reality is a very powerful experience that shows participants how to practice real life money-making decisions in a safe and fun setting. We want everyone to be successful in their financial journey and this is the first step to realizing how to be responsible with your funds.” 

Bite of Reality participants will walk away with more insight on how to spend wisely, distinguish their needs from their wants, budget properly and understand how easy it is to overspend. 

To learn more about Orange County’s Credit Union and the Bite of Reality program, please call Leticia Mata at (714) 755-7440 or email lmata@orangecountyscu.org. 


Orange County’s Credit Union is a Santa Ana-based financial services provider established in 1938 with more than 100,000 Members. As a not-for-profit financial services provider exceeding $1.5 billion in assets, Orange County’s Credit Union is owned by Members, not shareholders, which means its profits are returned to Members in the form of fewer fees, lower loan rates, and enhanced products and services. Orange County’s Credit Union offers services including, checking and mobile banking, savings, retirement accounts, as well as auto, small business, and home loans, with new mortgage offerings including the Zero Down and 3% Down options. The Credit Union is ranked in the top three percent of credit unions nationwide based on assets and for the past three years, ranked in the top two of the “OC Register’s Best of Orange County” credit unions. Anyone who lives or works in Orange or Riverside Counties and the neighboring communities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood and Cerritos can bank at Orange County’s Credit Union. For more information, visit Orange County’s Credit Union’s website at www.orangecountyscu.org, or call (888) 354-6228.