High school seniors in DeForest learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 22 at the school’s 7th 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 “trying to balance your whole life with a specific amount of money.” Another student felt they were challenged by “keeping money for unexpected expenses.” One student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “seeing how well everyone can do in real life and see how grown up we are.” For another, it was “learning about all the different things you will have to have when you move out of your parent’s house.” Other comments included: “It was rewarding knowing that I can balance my budget.” “It was good to know how much everything costs.”
Volunteers also provided feedback. One volunteer said, “It was a fun group of students to work with – what a GREAT event!”