Boyle seniors get taste of Reality World

October 24, 2004|KATIE McBRIDE

Boyle County High School seniors got a taste of tuition, grocery shopping and car insurance.

Reality World, sponsored by the Youth Service Center, was a week-long program designed to help prepare the students for life after high school.

Throughout the week they've had various speakers come and talk about real world problems. John Funkhouser from Johnson and Pohlman Insurance, Susan Johnston from Centre College, and Lisa Bottom from Farmers National Bank are some of the people who came to speak on many of the challenges the seniors will face after graduation. The week ended with a real world simulation where they had to buy all their necessities on a limited budget.

This is the first year they have done the program. Ann McAnly, director of the Youth Service Center, got the idea from helping eighth graders with their Reality Store, a similar program.


"It's going really, really well," McAnly says. "It lets seniors experience what kind of expenses they'll have after high school, whether they go to college or enter the work force."

Students choose their path

Students can choose between attending college and living on campus, attending college and living in an apartment or getting a job. If they attend college, their GPA is used to determine scholarships and they are given $450 for living expenses.

If they choose employment, then they fill out an application that is rated to determine their salary. From there they calculate their monthly earnings, pay taxes, and use the remaining money for personal expenses and necessitates.

Necessities include housing, communication/utilities, transportation/insurance, personal, clothing and groceries. Each booth has packages ranging in price. For example, in clothing you can choose the Abercrombie, Wal-Mart or a Goodwill package.

Andrea Cass, who also works with the Youth Services program, was in charge of the communication/utilities table where students could get their cell phones.

"Many are realizing that cell phones are more of a luxury than a necessity. Some are doing without a TV. Some decided to take on a part-time job to have a cell phone."

Justin Young, a student, had a fairly easy time managing his money.

"I try to do the medium stuff," he said.

Chance booth is key element

A chance booth is another key element to remind seniors how unpredictable life can be. The chances can be good news, like a birthday gift or winning the lottery. Some of the other chances are not so good, like paying parking fines and credit card bills.

Bethany Pollack won $20 at the chance table.

"It's stressful even with the fake money," she said.

Other students had a more difficult time handling their finances in Reality World.

"I even got a roommate and I still can't afford a house," said Justin Stevens. "I might need to take a second job."

Sandra Hoormann said Reality World was "a great idea and very similar to what we're going to do next year. Some things won't be as easy, some won't be as hard, but it's as close as we can get to what we'll do in the future."

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