“Why didn’t someone tell me what it would be like when I grew up?” she cried. Her question made real what we already knew, at least in an abstract sense that millions of mothers, fathers and children in this country are living in or near poverty because they did not understand the choices that they would have to make for their future and were poorly prepared to make the best choices.
Between the ages of 14 and 20, young women and men make critical decisions that affect the course of their whole lives; decisions about education paths, career options, lifetime mates and family timing. We believe they should make these critical decisions with knowledge and a sophisticated attitude about the realities of and options for their futures.
In many families, financial matters are not discussed with children. Many parents feel that young people should not be burdened with these dreary, often frustrating, facts of life. While in some ways this may be true, we believe that frank discussions about money can be a way to help young people realistically plan for their future. A teen that has never paid an insurance premium or written a check for rent may expect to live well on earnings from a job paying minimum wage. Someone better versed in the cost of living is less likely to be so naïve and more likely to start planning realistically for the future.
We, at GACHE, are committed to seeing that our youth become aware of the importance for all adults to lead balanced, self-sufficient lives. The GACHE Reality Store is designed to encourage teens to think about their future, to help teens visualize how their career choices will affect their economic well-being. Participation in the GACHE Reality Store helps students learn about their choices, evaluate their options and plan for their future.
How it works: There are three components of the GACHE Reality Store:
1. Classroom preparation- activities to help students prepare their GACHE Reality
2. The event- students will visit a series of stations at which they will spend their projected monthly income on living expenses. Periodically, students will be faced with an unexpected life event, good or bad, which will impact these monthly expenses. We hope to recruit area business people and CORE Team members to staff the situations.
3. Follow-up- students will complete an evaluation as they leave the GACHE Reality Store.
The Goals of the GACHE Reality Store are:
1. To help all students learn basic skills in financial planning, goal setting, decision
making and career planning
2. To clarify the need for young men and women to examine their attitudes about
their future and their career expectations
3. to motivate teens to stay in school, stay away from drugs and avoid pregnancy
The GACHE Reality Store will be a fun and rewarding experience for the students and adults alike.
At the GACHE Reality Store, students will be able to: