HHS 4-H Members Provide a Reality Check for 950 Eighth Grader Students

Recently, Holston High School 4-H members volunteered at the Washington and Smyth counties 4-H Reality Store and Career Explore program held on November 20th at the SWVA Higher Education Center.   More than 950 eighth grade students took part in the two-day event.  The 4-H Reality Store and Career Explore program is sponsored by the United Way of Southwest Virginia.  Reality Store is a life-like simulation where students are given a job and a salary.  They are challenged to navigate 19 “LIFE STATIONS” representing monthly expenses a family would face.  They are challenged to live within their means and balance spending on needs and wants.  Students must make decisions about buying cars, groceries, insurance, housing and much more.  The most eye-opening experience is paying taxes on their income to Uncle Sam.  Also, students have the responsibility for getting childcare and the costs of raising children.  Overall this experience taught many valuable life lessons to a variety of students in a fun and unique way. A quote by Freshman Briana B. said, “It was an awesome experience and it will help kids have a new outlook on life.” Jordan L. said about the Reality store, “I had a fun time working with the kids!” Junior leader Ashley J. responded to the question by saying, “The reality store not only taught the kids about the real world but it also taught us teens, we now realize how stressful it actually is to do basic daily jobs, and that is a great experience to have.”