St. Mary’s High School hosted a Financial Reality Fair presented by Bank on Buffalo on Thursday, February 16, 2023.
St. Mary’s juniors and seniors attended the nearly two-hour long fair in separate sessions. As stated on Bank on Buffalo’s website, “The fair is an immersive experience of tangible financial scenarios, allowing students to go through a simulation of real-life experiences related to spending, saving, and budgeting.”
“At St. Mary’s, we pride ourselves on preparing our students not just for college, but for life,” said St. Mary’s Dean of Academic Affairs, Keith Junik. “Our Lancer Life Curriculum includes courses like public speaking, personal finance, and leadership skills so our students graduate with some real-world skills that will be useful to them outside of the classroom. Exercises with outside organizations, like this Financial Reality Fair with Bank on Buffalo, really help take that curriculum to the next level and have it come to life,” Junik concluded.
Prior to the event, students chose the career they will most likely pursue and were then given an entry-level salary to go through the exercise with. Students challenged their assumed lifestyle against their career choice, making financial decisions like where to live, what kind of car to buy, choosing a health insurance plan, choosing cell phone plans and streaming platforms, spinning the “Whammy Wheel,” and much more.
“Our students really bought into this Financial Reality Fair,” Junik added. “They were engaged the whole time, rotating from station to station, and I think they were surprised to see that life after graduation, even with a solid career, might not be as easy as they thought. There are so many factors to consider, and it’s important for us, as an educational institution, to be able to provide our students with opportunities to be in those real-world situations, so they gain that invaluable experience,” Junik resolved.