High school students experience adulthood during reality fair

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)-  Some Lowndes County students got a dose of reality Tuesday.

A special program presented by the Junior Auxiliary of Columbus is giving them a taste of life.

“Adulting” is rough.

The “Reality Fair” at West Lowndes High School gave students a real-life look at what it means to be on your own.

Melvin Crawford is just a junior in high school. But Tuesday morning, he took on an adult role with bills and responsibilities.

“I’m managing what I’m my spending my money on, where all it’s going to and putting towards the important stuff I need,” said Crawford.

Crawford is one of dozens of students participating in a Reality Fair.

Junior Auxiliary organizer Kay Regimbal said this event helps students get a preview of what it takes to live on their own and take care of themselves.

“Students are given paychecks based on their current GPA. They are to stimulate a regular check register. They have to go around and make life decisions on things such as basic needs like housing, transportation, utilities, cell-phones, and internet,” said Regimbal.

And just like in real life, students had to handle pop-up finances like flat tires, or a broken pipe.

“Some of them actually have to go back through and adjust some of their choices and it is very eye-opening. I will tell you that once they see what saving a little bit now means in 40 years, that’s a huge reality and wake up call which gives them a goal to work towards which is very important,” said Regimbal.

Crawford said the experience will be beneficial to him for life after graduation.

“They’re showing us how to do stuff by breaking it down one by one instead of going into it ourselves and don’t know what to do,” Crawford.

Arlana Rice said she now has a greater appreciation of all the hard work her mother does to provide for their family.

“I saw what my mom had to go through as living in the house with as a single parent, and to know this is what she does every day is very hard and is a challenge to me as being the youngest in the house, it takes a toll on your time and money-wise,” said Rice.

It’s a lesson Rice hopes will continue to be passed down to students who come after her.

“I would like for this program to still be around when I have kids so they can understand and when they get older then I’ll for them to say the same and how hard I worked and to appreciate your parents more,” said Rice.

Regimbal added the Junior Auxiliary of Columbus focuses on a wide-variety of topics ranging from anti-bullying, money management and career success for students throughout Lowndes County.

Categories: Local News

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