CASTLETON— On Thursday, Oct. 7, more than 600 Rutland County high school sophomores participated in a “financial reality fair” at Castleton University. The fair, which acted as an interactive financial literacy tool for students, was sponsored by Heritage Family Credit Union and was part of the fourth annual Sophomore Career Summit, sponsored by the Rutland Region Workforce Investment Board.
The fair provided students with a unique opportunity to experience financial challenges they may face when they start life on their own. To prepare, students researched careers and salaries in their classrooms with the help of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
“We were thrilled to put on the Financial Reality Fair at the Sophomore Career Summit for the second year in a row. It is a great opportunity for these students to have a look at their prospective financial future before they have to become reactive to a negative situation they have put themselves into by the choices they made, or to see if they are on the right path,” said Heritage Family Credit Union’s youth services team chair, Mark Grossarth.
After identifying a career choice and starting salary, students at the fair completed a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary. They were met with many temptations for additional spending and had to learn to balance their wants and needs in order to live on their own.
Students visited various booths covering components of independent living. Roles representing housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, food, entertainment, and travel were played by 60 area community members. Students finished by balancing their budgets and reviewing their successes and shortcomings.
Rutland County high school sophomores line up to choose their “reality” future.