Vonda McConnell of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce helped with making wise clothing choices and Traci Cutler of Family Drug covered the miscellaneous category. “This entails the little things in life that are necessary, like soap, toiletries, deodorant, prescriptions, etc. I help them distinguish between needs and wants,” said Cutler.
Glenda Sphar of Shelby Realty-Bitzer and Associates commented, “I talk about what to do if you can rent for $600 or buy for $650. Which is the right option for you? But to afford either, you must first have the income.”
SHS Guidance Counselor Wendy Griesemer worked with Tynan and Reynolds to prepare the students for the exercise. “The Welcome to the Real World Simulation was a great culminating experience for our Career/Work Ethics students. It was very eye-opening for many of them when they realized how difficult it might be to live on a fixed monthly salary,” commented Griesemer.
Student Sam Congenie echoed Griesemer’s comments, “Life will be way harder than I thought, based on what everything costs. I think I will be smarter and more aware for having taken this class and workshop—you sort of gain experience without actually having done it yet.”
Dana Homan, U of I District 19 Youth Educator takes the program to schools in Coles, Moultrie, Douglas, Shelby and Cumberland counties.
Yolanda Nation of the Shelby County U of I extension office worked directly on setting up the program at the school, contacting local professionals to lend their time and expertise. “This is an eye opener for a lot of these students. Some have worked part time jobs, but never had to think about an entire budget.”