University of Illinois Extension

2015 Vandalia Welcome to the Real World

On March 27, 2015, approximately 123 sophomores at Vandalia Community High School participated in the University of Illinois Extension Welcome to the Real World! simulation program. 

Welcome to the Real World! is an active, hands-on program that gives young people the opportunity to explore careers and make lifestyle and spending choices similar to those adults face.

“During the simulation, students gain an understanding of the expenses associated with daily adult living,” said Tabitha Welch, Extension educator in 4-H Youth Development at University of Illinois Extension in Fayette County. “One of the most valuable parts of the program is the local volunteers who share their skills and knowledge with the participants.”

Local volunteers for this year’s program included:  Laquita Hans of Midland States Bank, Kelly Washburn and Kris Nalley of Fayette County Real Estate, Steve Ledbetter of Hosick Motors, Kyle Anderson of Willms & Yakel Insurance, John Winter of Southwestern Electric, John Ashdown of Family YMCA of Fayette County, Mary Schulze of Kaskaskia College, Janet Shulman, Matt Philbrick, Annie Bright, and Mindy Cox.  Extension Staff and VCHS employees also helped to make the program a success.

“I’ve realized that having a job and making money is going to be highly important. It was very fun! I spent money!” 

“I realized that being an adult is stressful, but I can do it!”

“I know now that it will be important for me to finish school and go to college.  I’ll have to get a good job where I’ll make good money.”

“This Real World simulation helps youth practice skills they need today and will continue to need throughout their life,” Welch concluded.