Freshman at Garden City High School participated in a simulation exercise to increase their financial literacy. Students were assigned salaries based on a survey they filled out. The questions invited students to indicate their desired profession, marital status, how many kids they want, and lifestyle choice like future shopping habits. From this, a life profile was developed for each student. This program was hosted by Communities in Schools and called Reality U.
Jack Koehn, a freshman at Garden City High School was assigned a salary that was quite humble. Through the simulation, Jack explored ways to make ends meet. After buying a house, car, and paying student loans, he realized his funds disappeared rapidly. Koehn was just one of several students who had a financial wake up call.
The life profile for each student was created from the student answers to several questions on a questionnaire. The output of the profile included pertinent information such as their salary, credit score, and profession. Afterwards, booths were set up for students to purchase everything they needed such as clothing and housing. The profile was also created based on each student’s GPA.
Reality University had a strategic way of emphasizing the importance of grades. It became clear that those who did not put enough effort in school ended up with lower salaries and financial opportunities. A big takeaway from the program was for students to understand that their success in school in a big factor in their lifestyle afterward.
The entire simulation program was a key learning experience for students to become more financially literate. They learned how to budget and actually got exposed to a skillset many older people were never taught. Throughout the experience, the students had advisors to guide them along. Those who did not reach their financial goals had a wake up call. It opened their eyes to the fact that they have the choice to create the life they want to live. Several now aim to obtain better grades.
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