Over 200 DeForest Area High School seniors learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 24 at the school’s 11th 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 school district’s Business & Education Partnership 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 “having a kid and staying above budget.” Another student felt they were challenged by “not having enough money for everything.”
One student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “learning a lot about the real world.” For another, it was being “able to spend money on things after all of the required stations.”
Afterward, seniors were treated to a cookout lunch. They enjoyed brats and hot dogs grilled by Agriculture teacher Dan Kvalehim and F/CS teacher Lori Kvalheim, and salads and desserts made by Family & Consumer Science teachers and students.