Fair offers dose of reality

  • reality fair2
    Photo: Sierra Hausthor
  • reality fair
    Photo: Sierra Hausthor

On March 21, students from the class of 2017 took part in the Reality Fair held at Greenfield Community College.

The event challenges students to take on the role of their 25 year old self and manage expenses in a career of their choice.

This is only the second time ARHS seniors will have taken part in the event after last year’s class gave the event such high praise.

Up until two years ago, ARHS seniors were given a presentation entitled “How to Not Go Broke After College.” Through her connections at the UMass Five College Federal Credit Union, college advisor Myra Ross heard about the Reality Fair and decided to present it to the administration as an alternative to the “How to Not Go Broke” presentation.

Ross was surprised the idea received such high approval from the administration since it involves taking a large portion of the senior class out of school for a day.

However, the interactive format provides a much more successful mode of getting through to students rather than a PowerPoint presentation.

As seniors enter college or the working world, managing personal finances becomes a prominent issue.

With Massachusetts being one of a handful of states that does not require high school students to take a financial literacy class, many high school graduates find themselves unsure of how to go about organizing their finances.

According to the event organizer Amy Proietti, “The Reality Fair’s main goal is financial literacy.”

As students are able to gain firsthand experience on how their spending and saving habits impact their quality of life, they are better prepared to make smarter financial decisions later in life.

ARHS senior Alex Cantor described the opportunity as, “an exciting opportunity to gain valuable experience with finances.”

The Reality Fair has been a resounding success and garnered widespread approval from all parties involved.

Proietti has received feedback from student participants saying that the Reality Fair was “one of the best things they’ve done in high school.”

According to Ms. Ross, “100 percent of the kids who went thought the experience was really worth it.”

The future of The Reality Fair seems very bright although it is virtually impossible to expand the event due to the already large number of volunteers running the event.

Proietti said, “The vision is to keep it going for the schools already involved.”