Striking a deal at the Reality Store

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Striking a deal at the Reality Store

Junior Leah Dowdy checks out the cars for sale and sees which one will fit her budget.

Junior Leah Dowdy checks out the cars for sale and sees which one will fit her budget.

Kamryn Tucker

Junior Leah Dowdy checks out the cars for sale and sees which one will fit her budget.

Kamryn Tucker

Kamryn Tucker

Junior Leah Dowdy checks out the cars for sale and sees which one will fit her budget.

Asa Herndon, Reporter

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For three years, students have flocked to the seemingly endless rows of tables that make up the Reality Store. The Reality Store is a program hosted by the Virginia Cooperative Extension designed to educate high school students in the county about independent living and managing budgets. To accomplish this, participants are given a brochure that tells them their job, monthly gross income, and annual gross income. The brochures also include factors like amount of children and marital status, which can either help or hinder how they spend their money.

However, with the recent surplus of students, the organization has had some minor setbacks and as a result, has had to downsize their operation by a very noticeable amount. For instance, the amount of tables have been decreased from 12 to seven, meaning less stations for students to stop at. The amount of attendees has also been completely wiped clean, switching from the entire freshmen class, all the way down to the Personal Finance classes. The store itself has also been moved from the gymnasium to the auditorium, due to the downscaling of the project.

In spite of the downgrade, this doesn’t seem to affect those that volunteer at the organization. In fact, many of them welcome the change, especially the head of the head of the Reality Store, Mandy Dolan.

“With the decrease in size and amount of incoming students, running the store has become much easier on us,” Dolan said. “It has become a lot more controlled in terms of managing stations and directing students to the correct places. It is sad that we can no longer hold the event for the freshmen though. Students should get an early start when it comes to financial management.”

He has a lot of experience in the financial career area. Outside of the Reality Store, she works as an extension agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension, and travels to Virginia Tech and University of Virginia. She has also been apart of 4-H, which hosts similar activities.

The Reality Store will continue its run across the rest of the schools in Pittsylvania County, going to Gretna, then  Chatham, and ending at Dan River. Dolan and her team are looking forward to continuing their teaching across the county.

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