group of studentsEducation students in the Leadership Experience Academic Direction program participated in a poverty simulation Friday.

Simulation helps teacher candidates understand poverty

A simulation exercise Friday gave teacher candidates a taste of the challenges facing those living in poverty.

Facilitated by the United Way with contributions from professor Geri Salinitri and education students Victoria Searcy, Meaghan McMahon, Nicole Paterson and Kaitlyn Bélanger-Roddy, the four-hour event split participants into two groups—service providers and clients.

Those government agencies took two forms, says student Alyssa Ramos-Gonsalves: “services that aid impoverished citizens, and services that can hinder their ability to achieve social and financial stability.” The simulated clients were presented with challenges that impoverished people face every day.

The simulation was aimed at students in the Leadership Experience Academic Direction program, which offers specialized training for understanding youth identified as at-risk.

Ramos-Gonsalves says Friday’s exercise was worthwhile.

“All participants learned valuable lessons and skills to identify and assist in the remediation of poverty, in addition to the various services that are available,” she says.

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