Georgia College sophomore Rebecca Foster acted as a pregnant 17-year-old who dropped out of high school and lived with her boyfriend. She visited the unemployment table and thrift store.
“I’m going to be required to get a job, which will be hard to maintain throughout the pregnancy,” she said after the simulation. “This situation is fake to me, but this is something that happens daily to people. There are people who are dealing with this right now. It was cool to role play and put yourself in someone else’s situation.”
The director of Mercy House in Cartersville, Patrick MacCallum, also visited the campus to share his life story.
“He was in a transitional home for men. He used to be a drug addict and homeless,” Hutcheson said. “We can actually bring substance to our poverty simulation by actually having someone who experienced extreme poverty.”
Other week-long events conducted by Gamma Sigma Sigma, Circle K and NLSA included a canned food drive, a guest speaker from Interfaith Hospitality Network, a hunger dinner and a 30-hour famine.
“In the hunger dinner, people can pick out a random identity and depending on their income bracket, they get fed foods that they can afford,” Hutcheson said. “The 30-hour famine is where people actually are fasting for those hours to raise money with games and activities. All of the money raised will go toward the World Vision national organization.”
Hutcheson said plans are in the works to host another poverty awareness event in the fall with a sleep-out on front campus to represent a homeless shelter and to imagine life without a house.
“We care about this issue and we care about people in poverty,” Hutcheson said. “By starting this up again, we hope to have more students come and get community leaders engaged. This issue doesn’t just go away.”
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