AMHERST, N.Y. – Daemen College students had the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the challenges people face when living in poverty in a series of simulation exercises recently held on campus.
More than 60 students from various Daemen academic courses participated in the college’s poverty simulation event that took place on Nov. 18. Using four real-life scenarios, students played the roles of individuals living in poverty, such as a single parent or a hungry child. Each of the 15-minute segments equaled a week of poverty experiences, including the loss of a job, eviction and feeding a family, while struggling to pay bills, find employment, pay for groceries, and other daily challenges.
The poverty simulation was presented by the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County; Dr. Sharon Benz, community coordinator of the Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement; Dr. Sharlene Buszka, associate professor of business administration; and Dr. Mary Fox, associate professor of early childhood education.
“This realistic simulation helped students to become more aware of the stress and impact living in poverty has on low-income households,” said Benz. “By incorporating various scenarios, the simulation activities demonstrated the many difficulties and hardships people endure when they face a life of poverty.”