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Union University SIFE helps give students a Reality Check

JACKSON, Tenn.Sept. 13, 2002 – On Wednesday, Sept. 18, Union University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) will partner with the Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service to present the program “Reality Check.”

The Reality Check program was designed to expose high school students to the typical financial decisions they will face after graduation. Students at Jackson Central Merry High School will be assigned a lifestyle which includes a family structure, occupation, and income. They will then travel through a virtual business community, attempting to make wise budgeting decisions about housing, clothing, and transportation. The students will even be forced to make the unavoidable trip to Uncle Sam to pay taxes. SIFE members will coach the teens on how to write checks for each expense and balance their checkbooks after each transaction.

This program was designed by the Agricultural Extension Service in response to the growing number of bankruptcies in West Tennessee. Reality Check is now in its third year in Jackson schools. The Extension Service relies heavily on the participation of local businesses and volunteers to make this project a success.

“This year because of the economy, many businesses are unable to donate as much time to this project as in the past, so SIFE students are making a huge difference this year,” said Amy Elizer, an agent for the Agricultural Extension Service.

Approximately 500 students will participate in the Reality Check program in West Tennessee this year.

Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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