The Real Life Academy is an interactive, hands-on, authentic experience for area high school students to learn about money management. In the fall and spring of every year, nearly 400 juniors and seniors from Altoona, Augusta, Fall Creek, Memorial, North and Regis high schools have researched and selected their careers, participated in classroom lessons on financial management, and are ready to put their financial skills to the test. Each student enters The Real Life Academy with the profession they aspire to be at ten years after graduation, along with a family status and a paycheck with one month’s salary. Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce member business volunteers and school faculty and administrators will be ready to assist them in purchasing life’s necessities – housing, transportation, groceries, and more as they visit 28 stations and make purchasing decisions.
Realizing that financial literacy is a crucial component to having an educated workforce in the community, the Eau Claire Chamber brought forward the idea of The Real Life Academy to area high schools. If the future workforce is equipped with the knowledge of how to handle their money, the community has the potential of becoming financially stronger.
This event is organized by The Real Life Academy Committee of the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce.
For a detailed description of this partnership, please view a video on YouTube.
For more information on the Real Life Academy, please contact Katy Kiley, Special Projects and Young Professionals Director.
Testimonials from Students
"The Real Life Academy was an eye-opening experience for me. I learned a lot of different things while I was there. It helped me with budgeting, what to do if you’re in a rough spot, and overall how to use and invest your money wisely. I enjoyed my time being there. I liked the set-up that they had there and all that help was provided when needed. I appreciate the opportunity that I had to go there and all of the volunteers that took time out of there day to help."
Altoona High School
I like how friendly the “owners” of the businesses are during the simulation. I also liked that there was some variation in the outcomes; not everyone came out of the simulation with the same products and money left over.
Altoona High School
The Real Life Academy is sponsored by several Chamber businesses with member Associated Bank as the Major Sponsor.