INA, IL (March 8, 2022) -- Local high school students got to see for themselves where some of their upcoming decisions may land them during the Kickstart Your Journey event on the Rend Lake College campus.

The annual event returned to campus on Tuesday, March 8, with an additional date to be held on Wednesday, March 9. In addition to listening in on several breakout sessions about preparing for college, the freshman and sophomore students visited a "Reality Store" that was held in the Wayne Arnold REC Complex.

The students received a month's salary for a job that they chose their respective professions. Next, they visited a series of tables where they chose some of the basic expenses of adult life, including a place to rent, what health insurance to buy, a car to drive and others. There was also a "Wheel of Misfortune," where a random spin could bring an unexpected expense or blessing that could help with the students' budgets.

How much much money was leftover at the end of all the bills was based on how well the young adults navigated those decisions.

Nearly 250 students participated in the event's first day. Schools participating in Tuesday's Kickstart Your Journey event were from Norris City-Omaha-Enfield, Woodlawn, Thompsonville, Christopher and Sessier-Valier.


Reality Store 2

Colin Peebels, center, of Thompsonville High School, thinks over his housing options Tuesday afternoon from Director of Student Records Kelly Downes, right, during the Kickstart Your Journey event at Rend Lake College. The Reality Store featured a variety of lessons for the students to learn about life balance and expenses.  

Reality Store 3

Garrett Newell, center, of Waltonville High School and Henry Meinert of Sesser-Valier High School strategize over what health insurance option to take Tuesday during the Reality Store challenge. The table was run by Sarah Draper, RLC Student Success and Wellness Coordinator.

Reality Store 4

Rend Lake College Chief Financial Officer John Gulley collects $100 from a student Tuesday morning after a spin on the Wheel of Misfortune led to the unexpected purchase of some Girl Scout cookies.




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