Current Projects

W.K. Kellogg Foundation School-Based Financial Education

W.K. Kellogg Foundation School-Based Financial Education

Our goal with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation school-based financial education project is to support systemic change that will positively impact the economic security of Native families. We will use the public school setting to offer customized, experiential financial education and Individual Development Accounts to Native youth in several high schools in McKinley County in New Mexico. This project offers bundled services to American Indian families and will help Native people work towards a better economic future.

Visit the Knowledge Center to read the Crazy Cash City Evaluation Report.

“Crazy Cash City” Event Reaches 200 Students
“It was really fun! It helped me prepare for life in the real world.”

That’s just one comment from a student among the nearly 200 who participated in First Nations Development Institute’s “Crazy Cash City” event in New Mexico.  First Nations in partnership with First Financial Credit Union, provided the “Crazy Cash City” money-spending simulation in Gallup, New Mexico, for local high school students, the majority of whom are Native American.  The exercise – which was a test of a new pilot program tailored to Native American youth modeled after the National Credit Union’s Mad City Money simulation– was intended as an experiential learning opportunity for kids currently taking a financial literacy class.

The event was held at the Rio West Mall and consisted of six two-hour reality fairs in which the students had to navigate a series of simulated financial tasks and challenges designed to teach basic budgeting and banking skills. It was all in fun – since they were spending play money and not really buying things – but it was also informative and highly interactive.

All participants were given a folder containing a fictitious family profile that listed what their income was, the income of a spouse, the age of any children, and any outstanding debt or benefits they received.  The high school kids then visited about 10 booths that provided various choices for housing, transportation, child care and more, and they were asked to make smart financial decisions based on their family profile.  At the conclusion of the seminar, the students were expected to have a fully balanced budget that they logged in their check register and budgeting sheet.