On March 14th, 250 seniors from Danvers High School participated in People’s United Bank’s annual Reality Check program. This is a program designed to prepare high school seniors for life beyond the classroom. The financial literacy program gives the students a hands-on lesson on the basics of budgeting. It is a four-hour, thoroughly interactive exercise that prepares graduating students for the demands of balancing their income and expenses and making financial decisions that will impact their future.
Upon arrival at the Reality Check Fair, each student is fast tracked to age 25, given a fabricated credit history, a job and salary fact sheet and the financial tools, such as a credit card, checking and savings accounts. Each student must manage their money for “one month”, working within the salary and credit history provided, and must make decisions about housing, health care, food, transportation, and saving or planning for the future. Along the way, students will run into unexpected real-life situations that will either improve (i.e., tax refund received) or worsen (i.e., unexpected car repairs are needed) their financial situation for that month.
75 volunteers, predominantly from the People’s United Bank, volunteered at this event, aiding the students in their real world decisions. The event was coordinated by MCBC Board Member and Economic Development Committee Co-Chair Kevin Noyes. Learn more here.