High school seniors in DeForest learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 21 at the school’s 8th 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 “deciding if what I wanted to buy was a need or a want.” Another student felt they were challenged by “spending money wisely (i.e. new vs. used car).”
One student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “seeing the prices of things that I will need to pay in the future.” For another, it was “feeling independent.” Other comments included: “It was nice to talk to people that actually work in the field they are representing.” “It was a wonderful experience and a real eye-opener to what the real world is truly like.”