The Western Connecticut State University School of Professional Studies will conduct a "poverty simulation" at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, in the Ballroom of the Campus Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.
The poverty simulation is primarily for students who major in "helping fields" including nursing and social work. During the simulation, participants will spend time in the role of an impoverished citizen. Students will experience first-hand some of the obstacles facing those in poverty, and will have to navigate around them to acquire resources needed for basic survival. As a result, they will learn about the struggles of obtaining childcare, housing, transportation, employment, food and other essentials, while facing the same barriers many low-income citizens face today.
WCSU social work student Justice Burch has participated in a previous simulation and said, "The poverty simulation is an incredible learning experience. I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to participate. As a social work student, I have been educated about the barriers those living in poverty face, but the simulation helps to provide a more complete picture. I better understand the panic that might occur when there are only enough funds to either take the bus to work or buy groceries until the next paycheck."
Burch added, "I also began to understand how one could turn to illegal activities as a means to survive. This activity opened my eyes to the struggles that those living in poverty face far more than sitting in a classroom or reading it from a book ever could."