Our annual Reality Store was held on March 20 at Junior Achievement of South Florida’s Finance Park, located on Broward Colleges’ north campus. At this year’s event, presented by BlackRock Financial, 65 Club Members received a dose of “reality” as they simulated their life from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage and possibly children along the way. Each teen received information on their career, salary and family size. Based on that information, each youth visited different life stations to make purchases based on their income including housing, groceries, banking, and transportation, entertainment, healthcare and legal, to name a few.
Club Members visited the housing station to purchase a 2 or 3 bedroom home or an apartment, as well as the AutoNation station to purchase a car, based on their take home pay and the ability to get financing. The participants also decided if they could go on vacation or how often they could go to the movies in the entertainment station. Club Members deposited money at the Wells Fargo Station and learned about investing at the SunTrust Station. At the Broward College station, members learned about college pre-paid plans and made decisions on if they wanted to go back to school.
Rich Lane, a BGCBC long-time volunteer, reprised his role as “Mr. Mayhem” to give the Club Members unexpected life events that included winning the lottery, receiving a traffic ticket or dealing with a health issue. Based on which unexpected life event was given to them, Club members then visited the corresponding life station based on that life circumstance. For example, if a Club member fell and broke a bone, they visited the Broward Health station to pay for their medical bill. If a Club member had an unexpected flood in their home or business, they visited the construction station to pay for repairs.
The Club Members found the event helpful, because they were able to understand what it’s like to make real life decisions based on real life circumstances.
BGCBC would like to thank our sponsor, BlackRock Financial, as well as all the volunteers from Bank of America, Broward College, AutoNation, SunTrust and Wells Fargo, who led the Life Stations.