Students dropped their “children” off at daycare before going to work. The students had to navigate the responsibilities of having children, getting to work and keeping track of their finances.

Community Services included many scenarios in the REALL program, from finances to childcare. Some of the greatest challenges students faced during this simulation were time management and prioritizing their financial commitments.

The REALL Simulation was provided for seventh, eighth and ninth graders at Rock Port High School. REALL stands for  Reality Enrichment And Life Lessons.

It is designed to address decision-making in the youth population.  During the simulation, students were presented with the opportunity to live two adult lives. During  one life, they had the opportunity to live the life of someone who has made reactive decisions and must now face potential consequences of such decisions.

Since  the launch of REALL Simulation programs at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, Missouri’s graduation rate has improved from 81% to an all-time high of 87.3%

Their “second life” gave them the opportunity to live the life of someone who has completed their high school education and made proactive decisions.

This simulation allows students to realize the decisions they make now will affect their future opportunities.  It supports the idea of their choices, whether good or less desirable, will set the course for their future.

The scenarios are real life situations that may include being a single parent with children,  struggling with unemployment, meeting monthly bills and reporting to their parole officer.

In the other part of the simulation, the students completed high school, some have college degrees with well-paying jobs and the ability to make some decisions not available to those who made less than desirable choices.

This program was created about four years ago and is facilitated by   Community Services, Inc.

“It is a huge challenge to be responsible for the day to day ebbs and flows of life. Many of the youth may not have developed expertise in these specific skills or are unaware of the magnitude of  just being an adult,” said Norma Eckerson, Special Projects Coordinator at Community Services.