Group helps students connect what they're learning in the classroom to real lifeSubmitted: 03/03/2015

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RHINELANDER - Some students find themselves sitting in a classroom, wondering how they would use what they're learning in real life. A group of community members in Rhinelander hope to make the connection between what students are learning in the classroom and adult life. On Tuesday, they gave students a crash course in being an adult.

Rhinelander High School seniors traded in their books for a game of life on Tuesday.

"Life can give you a lot of stuff very quickly. I managed to hit both a deer, rear-end a car, and hit snow bank in the same two-week period," said Rhinelander High School senior Dustin Simon, discussing a financial simulation in which he participated.

Students like Simon and Scott Sedlacek learned planning and saving money is important.

"I learned that it's really a game of chance. You never really know what you're going to win, what you're going to lose, so you really have to be prepared all the time," Sedlacek said.

Rhinelander Partners in Education organizes the annual Mad Money event. It's a group of community members that works to offer educational opportunities students might not get in school.

"They're thinking about the things that they need to know when it comes to interviewing, when it comes to resume writing, when it comes to budgeting and finances, sort of those skills that sometimes I think we forget to teach kids nowadays," said Lara Barbour, the group's president.

As many as 50 volunteers offered resume advice, ran financial simulations, and gave presentations. Workshops aimed to prepare students for life after high school.

"We are doing mock interviews where we're helping the kids with their skills, the dos and don'ts, how to present themselves. Great candidates so far," said event organizer and volunteer Peter Vanney.

"When I do have interviews and jobs in the future, I know what to expect from an employer and how to answer the questions in both an honest way and a way they want their answers as well," said Zaine Tischendorf, a senior.

Organizers hope students come away with that confidence.

Seniors weren't the only ones planning for the future. Juniors were taking the ACT on Tuesday. Freshmen and sophomores learned about preparing for college. They got to visit Nicolet College as part of college prep day.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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