Selma High School students spend a day in ‘Realville’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Teenagers all across America have heard something like this from their parents about finances: “Just you wait until you get into the real world.”

The parents of teens at Selma High School can be proud. Students got to experience the real world Wednesday, courtesy of a program called “Reality Check.”

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With Reality Check, students are randomly assigned jobs at all levels of salary and education.

Students were married, single, with or without children.

Once they were given their profile with their income information and family status, students then set out to establish themselves in “Realville” and handle their monthly expenses, which included groceries, clothing, utilities, and possibly daycare.

Students had to put a minimum of $25 in a savings account. With budgeting, they could visit “Just for Fun,” a booth where students could purchase vacations or movie and concert tickets.

Utilities addressed cable, Internet, and cell phone expenses.

Esias Shark worked as a construction worker and part-time pizza delivery guy. After shopping at Chec Clothing, he was getting stressed. “I’m trying to get a third job,” Shark said.

Rebecca Snyder worked in engine manufacturing, making $26,000 a year. She was single, with no children. She said her biggest expense was her apartment. “You have to be real optional with your money,” Snyder said. “No splurging.”

Ryan Reese worked at Pizza Hut making $8.67 an hour. The mother of his children had left him, and he lived in his mother’s basement while trying to raise his two kids, a boy and girl aged 1 and 3.

He owned a Nissan Altima, the most inexpensive car on the list.

“I learned how to finance things,” Reese said. “I realized that if I can’t afford it, I just take it back and get my money back.”