Florida Department of Military Affairs 'About Face' Program Hosts United Way’s ‘Reality Store’

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For more information/pictures of the About Face program or the ‘Reality Store’ event held December 3, 2015 at Godby High School in Tallahassee, FL, contact: Jimmy Shafe, Career Training Concepts: 404-424-2537 –jshafe(at)careertrain(dot)com

About Face, a dropout prevention program sponsored by the Florida Department of Military Affairs and delivered across Florida by Career Training Concepts, recently hosted an event that helps teens better understand and exercise personal financial management. Created by the United Way, the Reality Store is a series of financial simulations where participants are assigned careers and asked to make budgeting and lifestyle decisions. Held in early December at Godby High School in Tallahassee, the event was a fun and effective way for disadvantaged teens to learn about personal accounting, financial responsibility, life choices, and gave them an opportunity to interact with the local business community.

Participants of the Reality Store received paychecks and were given roles to play regarding marital status and parenthood. They were also supplied with individual checkbooks and instructions for making purchases. Simulated financial transactions included real estate, apartment rentals, apparel, automobiles, day care, charities, entertainment, groceries, insurance, household products, phone, television cable and utilities. Students visited each of the financial stations, wrote checks, and balanced their checkbooks. When the simulation was over, students assessed their financial decisions and resulting financial status. Asked to evaluate their Reality Store experience, one About Face participant said, “I learned that you should be careful how you use your money and spend it wisely. I also learned that you have to pay for your needs before your wants.” Another student observed that, “I went broke before I knew it!” while another commented, “I love how they teach you about real life situations. It gives you a picture of what your parent goes through with spending money.”

Attending the ‘Reality Store’ event were United Way of Big Bend representatives R. Jai Gillum, Kyndra Freeman, Charlotte Rice, and Stephanie McFadden. Also in attendance were Wallisa Cobb of Cobb Realty & Investment Company, Rudy Arceo of Envision Credit Union, Kynder Crossner from the City of Tallahassee, as well as Dan McGrew and Karbonell Leggett from Tallahassee’s local workforce board, CareerSource Capital Region. The corporate sponsor for the event was Saint Marks Powder Incorporated.

About the Department of Military Affairs (DMA)
The DMA is composed of the Florida Army National Guard and Florida Air National Guard. Both branches are administered by the state Adjutant General, Major General Michael A. Calhoun, an appointee of the Governor of Florida, and fall under the command of the Governor. About Face is a dropout prevention program for economically disadvantaged youth and is provided as part of the DMA’s community outreach and support mission.

About the United Way of Big Bend (UWBB)
The United Way of Big Bend is dedicated to supporting the greatest variety of human service agencies in the local area, helping people from all walks of life and income groups, and creating collaborative strategies that result in long-lasting, positive change. The UWBB brings together people and organizations from across the community who share in its vision.

For more information/pictures of the About Face program or the ‘Reality Store’ event held December 3, 2015 at Godby High School in Tallahassee, FL, contact: Jimmy Shafe, Career Training Concepts: 404-424-2537 –jshafe(at)careertrain(dot)com

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Katherine Martin

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