Live the game of life in Reality Town

Young adults prepare for the future, understand budgeting

The game of life now comes to Laramie County Community College in an even more eye-opening way.

Reality Town, a nationally known program that presents itself as a life scenario in the form of a two-hour simulation, helps students to navigate through the financial processes that occur in life. Mainly aimed for seventh-12th-graders, Reality Town presents a real-life experience of what their parents go through and what adulthood will be like.

With 23 manned businesses with the help of the LCCC Children’s Discovery Center, the Campus Activities Board and many volunteers from the community such as Re/Max and State Farm Insurance, the simulation sponsored by LCCC’s GEAR UP program will give the most realistic experience a student can have.

Unlike GEAR Up’s College Club Carnival last year, the simulation on Feb. 21 will begin with Warren Federal Credit Union personnel informing parents and children about financial literacy particularly how the budget process works. The students will then role play and come to understand how their current position in school will affect their futures.

“I hope the kids take away the idea that the sky is the limit when it comes to meeting your goals,” said GEAR UP’s coordinator, Jason Pendleton. “Although you might be in a situation right now doesn’t mean that situation can’t change later on. I want the kids to see that if you put in that extra effort—you will be rewarded.”

GEAR UP guides students in right direction

Pendleton makes sure that with any GEAR UP event certain questions will be asked: How will we help these younger people meet their needs? How will we help them meet their goals?

“Passion is needed anytime you work with kids, or they aren’t going to make it,” Pendleton said.

Pendleton said he believed that “parents don’t always have time to guide their kids in the right direction and with the support of the community we can build these kids up…[Reality Town] strives to make sure that kids meet their expectations and their goals of obtaining a college degree and diploma. It gives them the best opportunity for the future, and that’s the biggest thing.”

Being the first to graduate from college in his family, Pendleton had no idea how to apply for scholarships, fill out the FAFSA and other paperwork, so he had to take out loans, which he still is paying off.

“I don’t want kids to have to go through that,” he said. “When you graduate college, it should be a fresh start. You should be able to go out into the world and establish yourself, establish that credit, establish that lifestyle you want to live.”

GEAR UP’s goal with Reality Town is to show young people they can achieve the goal of graduating college even though they may experience hardships in their lives.

Pendleton, a director for six years for Laramie’s Cathedral Home for Children, said the tools, skills and habits students are learning now follow them year after year. Indeed, Pendleton said Reality Town will get young people into the best possible frame of mind so that when they go to college, they are able to sustain grades, careers and emotional health.

Beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, in the LCCC multipurpose room, Reality Town will give students the knowledge, skills and opportunities to better their lives and gain an awareness of what higher education can do for them.

LCCC's Childrens
Discovery Center

LCCC's Campus Activities Board

LCCC's GEAR UP