High school seniors in DeForest learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 23 at the school’s 6th 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 hosted by the North Star Conference Center. Several businesses and volunteers donated raffle prizes and materials for the event.
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 “not buying something I wanted but didn’t need.” Another student felt they were challenged by “not having enough money to pay my bills and having to get a second job.” One student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “getting to experience real life in a fun way.” Other comments included: “It was good knowing what was a necessity and what was a want.” Another wrote: “It was rewarding knowing my schooling will pay off in a big way.”
Volunteers also provided feedback. One volunteer said, “What a wonderful, engaging, and eye-opening event for the students!”