Lawrenceburg, IN—Ivy Tech Community College Lawrenceburg campus recently partnered with the Indiana Youth Institute to host two poverty simulation exercises for the community.
During the four-hour workshops, participants were provided with an opportunity to assume the role of a low-income family member living on a limited budget. They were then faced with making critical decisions on how to provide for their families over the course of an entire month. “We at the Fairbanks School of Public Health are encouraged to see other educational partners like Ivy Tech recognizing the role poverty plays in the lives of so many Hoosier families. We are grateful to the students who felt compelled to participate in such a learning experience and are appreciative of the volunteers who offered their time,” commented Shandy Dearth. Dearth and Dr. Ross Silverman, both from the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, served as facilitators for the workshops.
Approximately 150 members of the community participated in the workshops, sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati and One Community One Family. Participants were given a variety of roles to assume during the workshops, some of which included a single mother working long hours to provide for her children and a teenager who is responsible for his sibling’s wellbeing. At the end of the simulation, a debriefing session was held to help participants process the experience. “As we work to increase campus initiatives directly related to diversity, equity, & belonging, it was our hope those who participated in the Poverty Simulation would leave with an increased awareness of the effects of poverty on our students and community members, as well as develop insight into the barriers created by a life in poverty,”