ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — Local businesses and the Limestone County Career Tech Center provided a look into responsible adulthood for many high schoolers at Athens State University on Thursday with “Your Money, Your Life.”

Co-organizer Chris Becker of Limestone County Extension said it’s part of a program to help youth develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between personal finances and their career choices.

“A lot of kids these days probably wouldn’t be able to fill out a check, and that’s important,” he said. “They need to be able to function on their own, because life is not easy. Life does not take it easy on anybody. So they need to be prepared so that when they enter the workforce they have the skills to be able to survive on their own.”

Becker said the hands-on event was the first of many real-life budgeting exercises that students from all over the county will benefit from. Two sessions involved a total of 200 Career Tech Center students who were assigned a hypothetical career and salary, and had to simulate managing themselves or their family through the many different expenses and investments they’ll likely make in life.

Becker said it’s a valuable lesson for any young adult heading into college or straight into the workforce.

“We’ve got mortgage lenders, we’ve got industry folks here,” he said. “So (participating ambassadors have) taken a day off work or they’re volunteering their time to this program because they understand how important it is for these kids to understand that every choice they make financially influences what they’re able or not able to do in life.”

Limestone County Extension hopes to double the participation of its next financial literacy events, and host them more often in the coming academic semesters.