On April 22, 48 12th graders at Emanuel County Institute participated in an It’s Your Reality financial simulation. The event allowed students the opportunity to learn about and consider the financial realities they will face after completing high school and starting a career. Twelve booths manned by ECI faculty, UGA Extension 4-H educators, and representatives from Durden Banking Company showcased a variety of financial conditions and decisions that will confront adults as they enter their careers.
The students submitted their career plans to ECI Counselor Elizabeth Kraus earlier in the year and these were used to assign each student a monthly salary. Through the simulation, students had to visit different “stores” to provide for the needs of their family including housing, transportation, food, medical/dental, and more. They had to work to balance their budgets within their chosen career’s monthly salary. The store process helps young people determine whether their career aspirations provide the income for their desired lifestyle as an adult. This simulation was the culmination of a semester-long financial literacy program for the seniors that focused on needs vs. wants, budgeting, and credit.
This program was based on the It's Your Reality program from University of Kentucky Extension and is the result of a collaboration between ECI, UGA Extension Emanuel County, and Durden Bank. For more information on providing this program to your school or group, contact Jakyn Tyson, Emanuel County Extension Coordinator and 4-H Agent at (478) 237-1226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.