Since the program’s inception in November 2015, the Reality Store curriculum has been presented to students in both Leon and Gadsden Counties, serving more than 380 youth.

What is the Reality Store?

Reality Store is a financial simulation where students are assigned careers and make decisions about their budget and lifestyles. The event is a fun and effective way for teens to learn about personal financial responsibility and life choices. The Reality Store gives students a pretend salary, checkbook and an opportunity to live like an adult. It helps teenagers understand real world expenses that they will encounter as an adult. The Reality Store help students understand the value of making good choices, the importance of a college education, and how hard it is for low income families to make ends meet.

What is the objective?

The objective is to provide for all the necessities of life, to have a little fun and to have some money left at the end of the day. To complicate matters, students are randomly selected for unexpected life events. These can be anything from getting audited for a tax return, being arrested for failure to pay child support, having an unexpected medical emergency to a flat tire. The experience is an eye opener for many students who are shocked at how fast it all adds up. The goals of the Reality Store program are to help all students learn basic skills in financial planning, goal setting, decision making and career planning as well as clarify the need for young women and men to examine their attitudes about their futures and their career expectations.

For further information on Reality Store or to schedule the Reality Store to come to you school or event, please email Rhonda Cooper at