The current rate of poverty in the U.S. is an appalling 11.6%, leaving around 37.9 million Americans living just below the poverty line at least some time during their life.
For SJCP Juniors, their most recent project in Theology 3 gave them a first-hand look at the lives of those who live in poverty through an assignment involving a family of four living on poverty wages.
Students were given a week to create meal plans, grocery lists, and a monthly bill planner in order to complete the “poverty project.” The project scenario gave the students only $2,500 per month to create a suitable life for themselves and their families. I interviewed two students, Davida Agyako-Wiredu and Gracie Stoolmiller, about their experience with the poverty project and what it taught the two them.
The two reflected that they had spent much time on the project. It was hard for them to create a budget that allowed their “family” to manage for one month, so it was hard to imagine that this is the reality for some people. It was really eye-opening, and it was also beneficial as it taught them a lot about how to manage taxes along with having to take care of a nuclear family.