Over 200 DeForest Area High School seniors learned a little more about the realities of life after high school or college on Wednesday, May 23 at the school’s 12th 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. Generous donations from Settlers bank and Paulson Development LLC help support the event. Several other businesses and volunteers also 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 couldn’t do this without the generous time given by the volunteers, and the use of Comfort Inn & Suites. We truly appreciate the community and district support for this valuable event.”
“We ask every student participant to evaluate the morning’s activity, and their comments were very positive and helpful,” said Brewster. According to one student, the most challenging part of the day was “worrying about future expenses.” Other students felt they were challenged by “having to pay for kids, and deciding what’s actually necessary and what I should pass on.”
Student felt the most rewarding part of the day was “getting a look into the future,” learning how expensive life is,” and “getting to practice before it’s real.”
Afterward, seniors were treated to a cookout lunch. They enjoyed brats and hot dogs grilled by Agriculture teacher Dan Kvalehim and Family/Consumer Science teachers Lori Kvalheim and Brittany Vanderbilt, and salads and desserts made by Family & Consumer Science teachers and students.