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A Hands-On Approach to Learning Life Skills

Ready for Life's Programs Facilitator, Sandy, teaches young adults imperative life skills in a fun, interactive way!

At Sallie House and Brookwood in St. Pete, the spirit of learning and empowerment recently took on an innovative twist through the Life Skills program, facilitated by RFL's Programs Facilitator Sandy Hoglund.

The highlight of the Life Skills sessions presented at Sallie House and Brookwood was a unique pop-up thrift store activity to encourage the practical application of budgeting principles. Picture this: a room transformed into a bustling marketplace, where young adults had the opportunity to put their newfound budgeting and resource management knowledge into hands-on practice!


The session kicked off with a comprehensive lesson on real-life budgeting essentials, covering crucial aspects such as rent, utilities, and transportation expenses, as well as the importance of saving. Armed with this knowledge, each participant was then provided with a wallet containing $30 in play money, setting the stage for an interactive learning experience.


Before diving into the thrift store shopping spree, the young adults were asked to first make a cost-effective dinner purchase for themselves, with options ranging from a fast-food meal to a homemade alternative. As they made their choices and deducted the respective amounts from their wallets, the real magic unfolded. The makeshift thrift store offered an array of items, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. From clothing to household essentials, there was something for everyone, ensuring that each participant could make meaningful purchases within their budget constraints.


The feedback from the young adults speaks volumes about the success of the initiative. Jadin expressed enthusiasm for the experience, highlighting the enjoyment of shopping, while Tatiana appreciated the practicality and affordability of the activity. Makayla echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the novelty and fun factor of the endeavor. Grace and Zachery both lauded the variety of items available, underscoring the inclusivity of the shopping experience. Meanwhile, Ms. Chelsey and Ms. Michele expressed delight at witnessing the positive impact firsthand.


In essence, this Life Skills training not only imparted invaluable lessons in budgeting and resourcefulness but also fostered a sense of empowerment and independence among the young adults. Through hands-on activities like the pop-up thrift store, we continue to pave the way for their successful transition into adulthood, one practical life skill at a time.

What the young adults are saying about Life Skills Reimagined:

"Ms. Sandy has taught me ways to save my money, the difference between credit cards and debit cards, how to save money at a grocery store, and how to make money last longer. I love the snacks she brings us, and she listens when I miss my dad. She also taught me about communication, and that helps me get along with my friends. I want to be a journalist when I grow up and she brought me a laptop. I used to write news articles in my notebook but now I use my laptop. Ready for Life makes me feel better about turning 18. I know they are my friends and will be there for me." - Brian, 17

"Ready for Life helps foster kids learn more about the real world and what it has to offer, as well as get the most out of what they already know. I am taking the Life Skills Reimagined workshops. I already know most of the banking and finance segments, however there were a couple things I’m glad I understand better such as the importance of having good credit. I didn’t realize the things that could affect like getting an apartment and buying a car. The things I didn’t have any clue about at all definitely tested me, like the coping skills and trauma part, but I’m glad I know now because that’s going to help me in the long run. Plus, I think most kids that have parents wouldn’t necessarily get this stuff explicitly lined out and explained in depth like I have. Ready for Life makes me feel cared about." -OJ, 16

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