Volunteers needed for Turner High's reality check exercise

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TOWN OF BELOIT - Volunteers are needed to help give a reality check to juniors at Turner High School.

The exercise gives students the opportunity to understand real world expediences as an adult. This year's Reality Check will take place from 7:45 - 11:45 a.m. on March 8 at the high school, 1231 E. Inman Parkway.

School counselor Mary Pauli said the school is looking for about 15-20 volunteers to support the development of student's life skills.

The exercise works by students first picking out careers they're interested in. Pauli said students are encouraged to select viable careers and not just decide they want to be a successful musician or professional athlete.

They then do research on their potential incomes in that career, both the starting salary and five years down the line.

The students then will receive a card detailing their martial status and how many children they may have.

During the activity, students then go to different booths where they're expected to budget for different expenses - such as housing, health insurance, costs associated with raising a child, a vehicle and car insurance - and record what each of those expenses would cost.

They even have to determine how often they're able to go out to eat and how much they can spend based on their budget.

There's also a roaming nurse and police officer who will hand out surprise expenses, such as a speeding ticket or medical bills from breaking a bone.

Pauli said the activity prepares them for the surprises of adulthood, such as receiving a small inheritance from a deceased loved one or having to pay for a kid's braces.

"It's a really fun experience for them to get a taste of adulthood and see what things come up, like housing and groceries," Pauli said. "These are things they don't typicality think about."

She said it's about students understanding their salary and the limits that come with that amount of money.

"Sometimes kids think they can just graduate and get by with a fast food job," Pauli said. "What if your car breaks down, and you have no savings?"

She said the exercise is fun for both the volunteers and the students. Many students find the activity eye-opening.

"For example, many are shocked to realize how much daycare costs nowadays," Pauli said.

Adult volunteers will operate all of the different stations. Volunteers are required to complete volunteer form and pass a quick background check. For those who are interested, contact Pauli at paulim@turnerschools.org or at 608-364-6370 ext. 1419.

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