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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Bank on Houston
News Release
Friday, July 15, 2011

500 At-Risk High School Students Participate in Game of Real Life Game of Real Life
Thurs. and Fri., July 15-16, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.,George R. Brown Convention Center.

Houston TX— This summer Bank on Houston has partnered with Skills for Living Inc., to offer 500 economically disadvantaged, at-risk high school students a 100-hour financial, career, and college-planning curriculum, aptly named “The Game of Real Life.” On Friday, July 15th and Saturday, July 16th, students will participate in a 16-hour reality simulation game at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Students will “age” from 19 to 26 years old, in one-hour intervals, while working, paying bills, filing tax returns, and buying homes, cars, and insurance.

A new feature has been added to the game this year—City Council. Students will discuss issues that pertain to city government—primarily how to close a budget deficit and how to address drainage challenges of Houston. The “Game” is the first comprehensive planning program to be approved by the Texas Education Agency.

While students play the game, parents and high school faculty attend classes on banking, taxes, home buying, immigration, funding college, investing, and saving for retirement. One-hundred and twenty-two businesses financially support the Game and provide volunteers who help the students realize the careers and potential they can achieve through education and hard work.

WHY: The results from the pilot “Game of Real Life” showed 93% of the 91 students attended a Title 1 high school, 100% went on to graduate high school, 98% went on to attend college, and 52% received academic scholarships.






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