The Pratt High School Go Day activities challenged students to work on personal development and promoted team work.
Crying babies, trash and debris, tests for tests and lots of information about potential jobs kept Pratt High School students busy all day Sept. 13 as USD 382 presented GO Day, an all high school event that gave students a very focused look at their future and where they are in that journey.
The words for the day were on the special GO Day shirts: Grit, Respect, Passion, Valor and Team.
Seniors began their day at Reality U, a realistic look at the costs of the future and dealing with a crying baby at the same time.
Seniors took on the roll of being 26 years old, being married or divorced or single and having to take care of baby that cries continually as they visited stations in the old Frog Dome and learned the realities of how much it costs just to live, said Patrick Sehl, director of Reality U that is made possible through the Pando Initiative.
Each student selected a career and that was combined with their actual GPA to determine how much money they could make in a month, Sehl said.
Seniors learned living costs including housing, utilities, insurance, child care, food, automobile expenses, health costs, clothing, credit cards and other day by day expenses. Many of the students were surprised at the cost of living and how fast it made their income disappear.
The crying babies were part of the process. The baby dolls were set so they would cry all the time no matter what the "parent" did. Students had to take the "babies" with them as they visited each station to get a feel of what really happens when they have to take care of a child. The cost of day care was a big surprise. A couple of students said they wondered why their parents had so many kids. Other students saved food expenses for last and discovered they had no money left.
Some wondered how their parents afforded to raise a family while others were positive they could do it.
While the activity was an eye opener, Sehl said it was not too late for students to make good decisions that would help them financially.
He encouraged them to visit with their younger peers and share their Reality U experiences.
While the seniors were getting an eye opening look at the future, the juniors were reviewing their classes and determining if they had the skills necessary to go into the workforce. The Sophomores got an introduction to the ACT exam with a practice examination.
The freshmen spent their morning doing community service clean-up at Blythe Family Fitness, PHS, May Dennis Park, Pratt Teen Center, Pratt County Food Bank and PHS shop.
In the afternoon sessions, the featured speaker Brandon White, a motivational speaker who focuses on teen character development and persevering though life, helped students find out who they are, what they want out of life and what holds them back. Topics included leadership, identity, anti-bullying, character and responsibility.
Then he took the students to the PHS gym, had them pair up and taught them how to swing dance using simple steps. Students had to introduce themselves to their partner before they started dancing so everyone got to talk to several people. White also had the boys rotate from partner to partner so everyone got to dance with several people.
Senior Makenzie Baird said dancing was a good way to get to know other students. She spoke and danced with a freshman boy she and never spoken with before and didn't even know he attended school at PHS.
Baird said she really enjoyed White's message and he helped put life in perspective in ways she had never thought about.
"I would listen to him again," Baird said.
The day concluded with over 60 guest speakers from the community sharing information about a wide variety of careers.