High school seniors in DeForest learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 26 at the school’s 4th annual “Reality Day”. Over 70 volunteers from local businesses, the community, and school district helped students during a simulation where they manage their personal financial resources to pay for one month of life’s necessities while making choices about what additional products and services to purchase.
The event is sponsored by DeForest Area High School and the DeForest Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, and held at the North Star Conference Center. Sponsorship funds were provided through a grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, as well as donations from Settlers bank and Paulson Development.
Local businesses provided real life product and service cost information, as well as staffed “stations” (housing, groceries, checking/savings accounts, etc.) to help students learn how to survive on a given life scenario and salary.
According to Debbie Brewster, one of the coordinators of the event, “We ask every student participant to evaluate the morning’s activity, and their comments were very positive and helpful.” According to one student, the most challenging part of the day was “where to spend my money and to watch how much I had left.” Another student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “the experience of living on a budget.” Other comments included: “It was good to find out how much everything costs,” “It was helpful and fun,” and “eye opener on real life expenses and unexpected bills.”
Volunteers also provided feedback. One volunteer said, “This is a wonderful learning experience for the students. It’s fun to interact with them.” Another commented on what “an awesome experience for both the students and the volunteers.”