PNC Participates in Portage Reality Stores

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: May 14, 2013

Portage-Reality-2013-1Purdue University North Central and the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce have again partnered to present the annual Reality Stores at Willowcreek Middle School and Fegely Middle School.

Teams of volunteers from throughout the community helped to guide more than 400 students at Willowcreek Middle School through the Reality Store on Thursday, May 6 and look forward to hosting 250 students from Fegely Middle School and 18 students from Nativity of our Savior School on May 16 at Fegely Middle School.

The Reality Store uses more than 80 volunteers over two days to teach 8th graders about living expenses and making smart choices as they learn about navigating the "real world." The participating students "choose" a potential career, earn a paycheck and wisely spend their earnings on the necessities, hoping to have money left over for luxuries.

Portage-Reality-2013-2"The Reality Store is a tremendous opportunity for the students to start thinking about the future," said Leslie Plesac, a director at PNC - Porter County. Volunteers from various walks of life come together to host the interactive event that gives the students a glimpse of what their lives may be like in the years to come.

For example, volunteers from PNC brought with them a "World of Work Map" that lays out a number of potential careers for students. The students select a career that appeals to them and they are able learn more about the job itself, education needed for the job and an anticipated salary.

"The World of Work Map helps students start thinking about careers so they can look at careers that match their interests," said Plesac. "With that information, students can begin to look ahead to plan what classes they will need in high school so that they are better prepared for college," explained Plesac.

Susan Brychell, a director at PNC - Porter County, agreed this is exactly how her daughter began planning her future.

"Once she realized what career she wanted to pursue, she began planning her high school classes and look ahead to college," said Brychell. "The World of Work Map gives students an idea of the many possibilities that exist for them."

To learn more about career planning and The World of Work Map visit the PNC web site at