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Local Students Gets A Taste of Independence

Today around 500 Students from the Lauderdale County School district got a taste of Independence at the 2022 Reality Fair.

"So today we are doing our Reality Fair for the Lauderdale County School District. It's eighth-grade students that will come through The Four Area Credit unions are hosting the event. They do it each year just to kind of send the students through a kind of rush through what reality will be like once they graduate from high school or college," said Samantha Blackwell, Loan Manager.

Each student is given a spreadsheet with their occupation and annual salary and goes through each category for real-world scenarios.

"They go around to each category, starting with housing, utilities, insurance, communication, food, and transportation. And then we have lots of temptations whether they go out for a pet or if they want to get a gym membership, or they can go to the beauty salon, get their hair or nails done. We also have entertainment. If they overspend on their budget, we can send them to our budget counselor where they can look for a second job," explained Blackwell.

Many students were enjoying how life may be and learned how budgeting works and said today was an eye-opener to reality.

"It shows it teaches you about real life. I'm pretty broke, my job was as a Cashier. It doesn't really give you much money, but you know you have to live with it." said Regina Galvin. When asked what she learned today that will help her later in life she said," You're budgeting, and that's what we have to do in the real life."

Another student Jakalyn Walker said," I think it helped me a lot and that it helped me do a lot more and prepare me for the future."

Blackwell says the Reality Fair is put on every year and says she wants the kids to have fun today but also learn something.

"We want them to have fun, but the realization that it is important too, you know, especially at this point, an eighth-grade year working out your final years of high school and where are you going to go from there? Are you going to go to college or are you going to go straight to work in a job? You know, and the importance of really finding a job that will support you in your wants and needs because you can have both. But living within your means and know the importance of budgeting," said Blackwell.

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