Some grade 12 students in the Southeast participated in a poverty simulation to learn about finances to prepare them for life after graduation. 

United Way Brandon visited the Roseau Valley School to teach students about challenging financial situations that come up for adults and how to find resources. 

Vice principal Jennifer Collette says they invited grade 12 students from Sprague and Vita to join them. 

“What happens in a simulation, you're basically given an identity and you're given these roles that you need to play and tasks that you need to accomplish in a period of a month,” she explains. “And in that simulation, things happen that are challenges that might come along your way.” 

There were 80 students participating in this exercise, going through various situations for an entire month. 

“And you’re basically having to pay bills, maybe you're a single mom having to get your kids to daycare, maybe you're a single father who is getting their kids to daycare, and also working a job,” Collette adds. “What happens in the simulation is all of these obstacles come along your way and you have to figure out what resources you're going to need to connect with to be able to make it through your month.” 

This poverty simulation was part of the Grade 12 transition series at Roseau Valley School, preparing students for after graduation. 

Collette says it was an eye-opening experience and she encourages more people to go through this poverty simulation to learn what resources are available in the area to help people during tough times. 

She believes it is important for schools to teach life skills to students. 

“Curriculum is important, that is definitely a big part of our job, but there is so much more that's part of public education and educating kids so they are set up to be prepared after they leave here, right?” 

Collette says this is the first time the United Way has led the poverty simulation in a Manitoba school, and she is open to connecting with anyone who would like to know more details on this experience in a school setting.