Link Up Greater Houston

Students take first steps to become millionaires

By Kim Pham

On November 2, 2013, the Game of Real Life (“Game”) hosted a “Who Wants to Become a Millionaire” workshop at the Link Up Greater Houston Conference at the University of Houston.  Middle and high school students learned about the importance of having a plan, following their passions and leveraging their education to reach their goal of becoming a millionaire.


The workshop was led by three alumni of YES Prep Southeast and an alumni from YES Prep North Central who completed the program in 2007 and are among the 93% of Game graduates on target to complete college on time.  The Game was life changing for the four students who now want to inspire other students to succeed.

“The Game made money real to me for the first time during high school,” said Rodrigo Martinez who is pursuing a degree in engineering at the University of Houston.  “Because my parents did not have the opportunity to attend college, I strive to see all students succeed financially and in college regardless of their background.”

The rigorous program teaches college-level concepts and relevant life skills.  Pablo Vera, a business student at the University of Houston commented, “I see the same finance concepts I learned during the Game in my college courses, and I’ve been able to apply those skills to manage my taxes, insurance and student loans.”

Noe Zubieta who is studying psychology at Vanderbilt University said “The Game introduced me to many potential career options as well as the plethora of living expenses, that are very real as I go through school and on my way to becoming a professional. Like in the Game, an effective action plan is essential to being successful in the end.”

“I believe becoming financially independent is so important,” said Zayra Castillo who is getting her degree in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Houston.  “I am grateful the Game taught me the critical skills necessary to achieve my goals, and I want to pass along my knowledge.”

The Game of Real Life was founded by Lorraine Decker to help low-income students acquire the necessary financial, career and college skills to transform their lives and break the cycle of poverty.  New Texas high school requirements may mean that all students across the state will have the opportunity to receive this critical financial education starting in 2014.