Canutillo High School Students Participate in ‘Breaking the Cycle’ Poverty Simulation
“Breaking the cycle” was the goal of a poverty simulation held by the United Way of El Paso County (UWEPC) along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – El Paso Branch Friday, February 26. About 80 Canutillo High School students in CTE programs engaged in a role-playing simulation to help increase their civic awareness and financial management readiness.
The 4-hour long simulation allowed students to experience what it’s like to provide basic necessities and shelter for a family facing economic hardships. During the event, students interacted with volunteer-led tables representing services such as a bank, social service agency, an employer, utility company, pawn broker, grocer, state social service office, payday and title loan facility, daycare and school. This role-playing allows students to learn about community resources and budgeting as well as bank and savings services.
Through this unique event, students will gain an understanding of the effects of poverty in their community and will have a venue to discuss improving society’s potential. After the simulation, the Federal Reserve Bank gave presentations entitled “College and Careers” and “Learning to Budget & Save.”
“United Way’s goal in the community with regards to income is to increase the financial independence of individuals and families,” said UWEPC CEO and President Deborah Zuloaga. “The simulation gives us and our committed partners an opportunity to break down the reality of what it’s like to provide for a family and stress to students how pursuing post-secondary education – whether at a college or a trade school – can improve their self-sufficiency.”