Southeast Nebraska Community Action held a poverty simulation Jan. 11 at the Nebraska City Middle School for eighth graders.
Students were challenged to cope with unemployment, illegal drug trafficking, insufficient wages, loss of a family breadwinner and other factors to survive a simulated four, 12-minute weeks.
Community volunteers acted as a bank, mortgage or rent collector, grocery store, child care worker, social services worker, police, pawn shop, school teacher, inter-faith ministries, general employers and utilities.
"The simulation experience is designed to help students begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive month-to-month," said Susan Phillips of the SENCA.
"The object is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income people and families and to offer those who may be experiencing financial challenges the help and assistance needed to achieve financial independence," she said.