Calera High freshman gain insight of the cost of livingPublished 4:50pm Monday, November 11, 2013
By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist
Calera High School freshman got a perspective of what it cost to live in the adult world when the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce brought its ShelbyOne Initiative program, Keeping it Real, to the school Oct. 23-24.
GSCCC Community and Workforce Development Manager Keyla Handley said the program, co-sponsored by the Caldwell Mill Road UPS Store and Legacy Community Federal Credit Union, is a good investment.
“Education is very important because this is our future workforce,” Handley said. “Our program goes hand-in-hand with the Shelby County Board of Education’s A+ College Ready program. We plan to add a career awareness fair for 10th graders next year based on the 16 career clusters that all Alabama Schools are doing.”
The first day students learned the difference between gross and net income and the importance of budgeting. Each student received a worksheet that listed a hypothetical occupation, marital status, family size and household income.
The second day students visited 12 stations with their income worksheets to pay bills that corresponded with expenses. They had to decide whether they wanted a luxury car or minivan, own a home or rent, wear designer or economy clothing. Volunteer chamber members helped students stay within their budget.
Keeping it Real is chaired by SCBOE’s Career Technical Education, College and Career Planning and Community Partnerships coordinator Rene’ Day.
“What’s so exciting is the program is being led from our Greater Shelby Chamber and the education work groups,” Day said. “We’ve got a lot of business support as far as volunteers. Those from the banking industry see what havoc bankruptcy causes and are really passionate about making a difference in the high schools and deter some of the issues we see now.”
Day said students change decisions made at the beginning because they realized they couldn’t afford to drive a luxury car or live in the biggest house. She received feedback from students of how more appreciative they are of their parents and the importance of education, but not all students were shocked at the cost of living.
“I’m not really surprised because my mama always complains to me about what everything costs,” freshman Savanna Shofner said.