North Callaway freshmen get a real life experience

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KINGDOM CITY - Life with a high school degree or higher and life as a high school drop out.  North Callaway High School freshmen were given a peak into their future Wednesday using a real life simulator.

"It is really designed to keep kids in school and teach them the difference between bad decisions and good decisions when it comes to their life," said Central Missouri Community Action Community Organizer Martha Ray.

Central Missouri Community Action and volunteers from the Callaway County community put together a simulation called Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons (REALL) to address decision making in the youth population. 

"It is an eye opener. They have to learn to do things that their parents do everyday," Ray said.

Students went through two phases of the simulation. Phase one was the reactive decision phase.

"The reactive is as if they dropped out of high school," said North Callaway High School Registrar Marena Crawford.

Phase two was the proactive decision phase. 

"In the proactive they kind of go through life knowing that they have graduated high school or gotten some kind of education after high school," she said. 

"They have the power to change the course of their life. They can stay in school they can make good decisions. If they don't, they're going to make the decisions that are going to give them some unfortunate circumstances," Ray said. 

At the end of the simulation, members of the community, students and the CMCA debriefed about the activity as a whole. 

Volunteers from all over the Callaway community including the Callaway Sherriff's Department, Callaway Electric, United Way, 1st Choice Employment Agency and others helped with the simulation. 

CMCA received the REALL simulation kit just a year ago. It has been used in Jefferson City, Osage County and it will be working with Pilot Grove in Cole County in the coming months. It plans to reach all schools in the mid-Missouri area.