Reality Check Illustrates Importance of Education

Goodwill hosts events to give youth a glimpse of their future

IStudent backst’s easy for a young person to imagine what type of lifestyle they would like to have as an adult; figuring out how to get there is often a problem. Goodwill Reality Check is an interactive financial “fitness” program that gives teens a glimpse at future obligations and responsibilities and puts it in perspective for them.

In preparation for Reality Check, students work with their teachers to determine their career at age 30. They then choose if they are married and how many children they have. When they arrive at Reality Check, they are given a paycheck based on their career choice and then the fun really begins. They travel through life stations to see how far their paycheck will go. Life stations include:

  • Buying or renting a home
  • Phone and utility plans
  • Vehicle purchase
  • Medical costs
  • Recreational activities and more

They also have to place money in savings and in addition to the routine monthly responsibilities above. They face unexpected medical bills and maintenance costs. At the end of the circuit they are met by a career counselor who talks with them about their career decision and the outcome of the Reality Check whether they had money left or not.

“The goal is for the kids to reach the end of the Reality Check with money left over,” states Wanda Anthony, Youth Team Leader. “In most cases they realize that they do not have the educational background to support the lifestyle they envision for themselves. Through the process, they learn the value of both a high school and college education and that is the goal.”

Goodwill is currently seeking community partners to help fund Reality Check, as well as provide volunteers to man the program’s life stations.

For upcoming Reality Check dates, click here.

For more information on Reality Check, click here.