EAST BEND — Students were able to get a little taste of the “real world” last Friday at Forbush High School. The Real World Program is a one-day simulation of the real world.
The event concretely addresses education and employment decisions youth make in combination with lifestyle choices. The day begins with three workshops, which are banking and budgeting, interviewing skills, and social skills, to prepare the students for the latter half of the event.
After lunch, the youth were challenged to develop a budget based upon their salary and everyday needs. Each teen was given an occupation based on a career assessment, which provided them with a salary, showing their net/gross income, benefits, student loans, and taxes. With this salary, the youth paid for expenses such as transportation, housing, groceries, and all the other expenses adults face.
During this phase, students also were visited by “Life Happens.” This ranged from having to pay for a flat tire, receiving a bonus at work, or even having a child. If the students were able to budget successfully, even with these unexpected life events, then their names were entered into a drawing for three grand prizes. All kids were also provided with a goodie bag.
Once the event was over, all of the kids were surprised at how hard the real world really is, and were thankful for the experience. One student stated, “It makes you learn new things you would need to know in the real world, so you won’t be lost or confused.” The teachers also loved the program, and thought it was a “unique learning experience” for their kids.
The Real World was funded through the Yadkin County Community Collaborative through Partners Behavioral Health and the Children’s Center and through support by Forbush High School and Yadkin County Schools.