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Give L.A. high school students a financial "reality check"

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ORGANIZATION: Center for Financial Empowerment


Volunteers play the role of merchants in the world of Mad City Money, a mock scenario where teen participants take on the financial responsibilities of an adult with a family to support. Volunteers play the roles of "merchants," selling options for products & services the participants must purchase throughout the event.

There are 10 stations and volunteers are assigned to one station for the duration of the activity. All volunteers will be emailed a training video which explains their role. They will also receive a map of the location to assist them when they arrive at the location. Any questions can be directed to the Program Director at

  • Mad City Money is the hands-on simulation that teaches financial education in a real-world scenario.
  • Student participants are transported into the future and are now playing the role of adults - they are paired up like a real couple, complete with careers and salaries, student loan and credit card debt, a child and medical insurance payments.
  • The participants visit 10 different "MAD CITY" merchants to shop for food, a house, a car, child-care, vacations, entertainment and more. It’s much more than just shopping, these merchants treat participants like real world adults and always try to get the most from every sale. The participants will face pushy salespeople, and all kinds of temptations to spend money but they must maintain a budget throughout the process.
  • They will learn to balance their budgets, manage debt, and most importantly, learn valuable financial skills that will help them in the real world.
  • See a Mad City Money event in action, hear from the students and the faculty, find out why this simulation is truly unique and how successful it has been in teaching financial education at

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About Center for Financial Empowerment



Mission Statement

The Center for Financial Empowerment breaks the cycle of poverty and creates more stable communities through financial education for high school youth.


The Center for Financial Empowerment is a non-profit charitable agency that provides financial education and improvement programs for underserved youth in the Greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas. Through effective financial education and experiential learning, we help teens learn smart money skills to make better spending choices, save money, avoid credit problems and achieve financial stability.


Children & Youth
Education & Literacy
Children & Youth, Community, Education & Literacy


Fri Apr 14, 2023
09:00 AM - 11:00 AM


300 East 53rd StreetLos Angeles, CA 90011



  • General Education
  • Mentoring
  • Literacy / Reading
  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Financial Literacy
  • Mathematics


  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 2 hours
  • Be energetic and have fun.

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