EMS eighth grade students attended the Future Now Career Day on December 4.
The class was divided into two groups, the first began with the stations in the gym while the other began in the eighth grade hall where they learned about interviews, insurance, budgeting, and legal consequences of the internet.
Community members and EHS DECA student volunteers were stationed at booths on Housing, Banking, Giving, Child Care, Utilities, Supermarket, Financial Advising, Insurance, Healthcare, Communications, Shopping Center, Entertainment, Transportation, and Chance.
Prior to the event, students completed a short survey that collected information such as career interests and GPA. That information was used to assign a marital status, career and annual income, and number of children for each student.
Students had to convert their annual income into a monthly paycheck. Then the budgeting began. Based on the assigned lifestyle, students had to visit each booth and deduct the payments from their budget. At the Chance booth, students rolled the dice and took a chance of earning extra money for working overtime or having to pay a surprise bill such as an unexpected car repair or expenses for entertaining friends during the weekend.
“It’s evident that many of them don’t understand how bills are paid,” Rod Luehrs, eighth grade math teacher, said. “It’s a good simulation for them to go through.”
Luehrs said the students may have some understanding of what a car is going to cost, but they don’t necessarily think about having to pay insurance for the vehicle or how that is going to affect their overall budget. Students seemed surprised by how quickly everything adds up.
“I’m not ready to be an adult,” Shayla Powell, eighth grade student, said.
Students quickly learned that being single with no children left more room in their budget for extras such as a nice cell phone and Netflix. Students with multiple children were surprised at the cost of child care. One student said he was going to have to watch his own children because he couldn’t afford daycare.
One booth offered financial advice. They helped students determine how much of their budget they should plan to spend on each item and would give them a price range to look for at when they visited the housing or transportation booth. Students seemed to be pretty practical when selecting a mode of transportation.
“I’ve been pretty impressed,” Richard Taylor said. “Some of them have quite a bit of money, but they’re still buying cheap cars.”
Some students even stopped at the Giving booth to add a monthly charity to their budget.
Students also visited three rooms in the eighth grade hall to learn more about internet safety, insurance, and interview skills.