Juniors Participate in the Cost of Poverty Experience

Wealthy, middle and poverty - the three socio-economic levels in society today - were not only on display, but played out in potential real-life scenarios as juniors participated in a Cost of Poverty Experience earlier this month. This is the fifth year junior students have participated in the simulation.

Students were randomly assigned one of the three socio-economic classes. During the simulation, they went through “four weeks,” played out in 10 minute sessions, of different activities. While students in the wealthy class participated in spring break and were given cars, students in other classes either worked or had to be a caregiver for younger siblings.

“These are real scenarios,” D’Quan Bush said. “This experience helped me understand that certain people were born into their class, but it’s not fair because you can’t control what you’re born in to.”

Both Gabby Cambron and Lauren DeWine were assigned to the middle class.

“I got a job and I folded clothes at a department store along with all my middle class friends,” Cambron shared. “It made me feel good because a lot of other people didn’t get jobs, and I thought that I was lucky to get a job.”

DeWine, who was not given a job, said, “I felt sad because I went in for an interview and at the very end they told me there wasn’t a position available, so I felt lost and didn’t know what to do.”

Cameron Benoit, who was assigned to the wealthy class, said the experience helped him feel more grateful for what he has in his life.

“It’s not fair,” Benoit continued. “It obviously feels nice to buy whatever I want, but it also makes me think what are people in the other classes learning in life. When you do the simulation, it isn’t fair that they are living like they are and working every day to earn the essentials.” 

CJ’s Ministry & Service department sponsors the COPE simulation through Think Tank, Inc.

“I like that it has the three different socio-economic levels and students can see things from all aspects,” Kelli Kinnear, the Director of Ministry & Service, said. “Students can see how all of us together can make an impact on all three levels, and it raises their awareness. You can teach them in the classroom which is great, but because they’re acting it out, living it out, it impacts them.”

Posted March 21, 2018