The poorest among us is quietly working through the system, day-to-day, to survive. That is in brief the message a “Poverty Simulation” exercise is attempting to convey to students.

The Elizabeth City State University Department of Education, Psychology, and Health has been putting students through the paces of poverty and its various effects on people. The hope is, says kinesiology professor Dr. Kacey DiGiacinto, these students will gain a better understanding of what it means to live at or below the poverty line in this country.

“The typical beliefs people have are things like, ‘They just need to work harder,’ or, ‘They just need to try harder,’” explained Dr. DiGiacinto. “So we put the students through all this to let them see what it’s really like.”

All this is a simulation set up inside the K.E. White Center. It consists of various stations representing services and institutions any of us would confront in daily life – banking, grocery shopping, employment, childcare, utilities, education and more.

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Originally published Apr. 17, 2019.