My placement this year is at the United Way of the Greater Triangle. I work in the Community Impact department and help with grant evaluation, allocation, and other projects that help strengthen our Partner Agencies. This week I was given the opportunity to participate in an event called the Real World that UWGT put on (with the help of MANY others) and it was a day jam-packed with Micro and Macro opportunities for me as an intern.
The Real World is an event that targets youth who are quickly preparing to age out of the foster care system. It provides a series of workshops in the morning, and then a simulation in the afternoon where participants are given an income amount, certain bills to pay, and tempting financial purchases like iPhones, cars, and adorable Target items. Representatives from Target, Verizon, CarMax, and many others set up booths and “sold” their items at real-market price. This experience taught budgeting skills, priorities, and alerted the participants to all the temptations and obstacles they may have to deal with as independent individuals.
The preparation for this event incorporated many skills I have learned from my Macro classes and experiences. The committee who puts together this event is a coalition of stakeholders who have a vested interest in helping these young people succeed. Lots of organizing, planning, collaborating, and debating went into the creation of The Real World and I was lucky enough to participate.
The execution of this event Micro skills that I had not been able to practice in this placement! I helped facilitate a workshop on social skills where I would sit down with a group of participants and help them with their Interviewing and Job Application skills. I also got to man one of the booths during the simulation and interact with the participants in that way as well.
Overall, it was very educational to be able to see this event come to fruition from a Macro and a Micro perspective. Practitioners from both sides had to work together, and both sets of skills were 100% essential to the success of The Real World.