Survival of the thriftiest at Pearl High School Reality Fair - - Jackson, MS

Survival of the thriftiest at Pearl High School Reality Fair

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PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Freshmen got their feet wet paying bills and taking on responsibility at a Reality Fair at Pearl High School Thursday.

They all started off with a tailor-made virtual salary.

"Their salary has been adjusted based on their academic achievement, discipline, skills and attendance in extracurricular activities," said Sheri Carter, Chair of the school's Business Department.

The first stop for all students is the "dress for success" booth. They get more points if they're dressed correctly.

Student Michael Owen scored high there, and while some of his colleagues were saddled with expenses for a family, he started out single with no children.

During his journey through the Reality Fair, Owen had to buy a house, furniture, health insurance, clothing, food and other items. Some items were necessities and others were choices.

"The phone bill. I had the choice between an expensive phone and a cheap phone. I got the expensive phone," Owen said.

As the students go through the exercise, they discovered their own impulses and potential spending habits.

"I ended up with $247 left. It was pretty good," said 9th grader Raven Tucker.

"I had to get a second, third job to buy the stuff I need," said 9th grader Brandon Boston.

Owen had to take a second job too. He ended up just scraping by, with $9 left in his pocket.

"I learned that reality is gonna be hard. I'm glad I'm not in it right now," Owen said.

"We're hoping they will learn to make wise choices now, and that will help them be successful in whatever career they choose," Carter said.

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