There are decisions that we all must make, that are part of being a grown-up.

Bellaire High School hosted a Real Life Fair for middle and high school students, to help them get a taste of decision making and figuring out their priorities like what’s more important—making a car payment or getting an Xbox.

They were each given a scenario—a job, an income, a spouse, a child or two or three.

They had to choose where to spend their money.

Buy a house, or rent an apartment.

Pay the taxes or get their nails done.

Decisions about essentials vs. non-essentials.

“I was working the grocery booth,” said Derek Ault, director of special education for Bellaire City Schools. “So by the time they got to me and they got past transportation, utilities and housing, they were out of money. They didn’t have enough money for groceries. So I had to send them back to the beginning and tell them they need to decide on fewer children or maybe a job where you make more money.”

“So we had one boy whose job for the day was speech therapist,” said Katie Kendall of Kendall Behavioral Solutions. “And with his salary, he picked an Xbox and a PlayStation at the non-essentials booth. Well, when he went to the Chance booth, he found out that he had to go to the emergency room and that cost him $200.”

People from the community played the parts of the people they had to pay, like the landlord and the tax man.

It was all part of their Occupational Preparation Program.

One student concluded, “It’s hard being a doctor.”