Trevecca Nazarene University

University community participates in poverty simulation

Student participants in the poverty simulation come to the station representing the "pawn shop" in order to sell items in order to provide housing and food for their family groups.


For streaming audio of the full "Poverty in America" series and additional photographs of the event, click here.



In an effort to educate and to increase awareness of poverty in a wealthy nation, Trevecca Nazarene University will host four Poverty Simulations which will incorporate approximately 300 students as well as more than 60 faculty, staff, and administrators.

The simulations, to be held March 28, March 29, April 2, and April 3, give participants a taste of what it might be like to live in a low-income family. Leaving their real-world identities behind, groups of 40-85 participants assume new roles and life situations for around three hours. The simulations will take place in the University’s newest facility, the Boone Business Building Convocation Center.

Ron Maurer, chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has worked with Patsy Watkins of the Williamson County Extension Service, a subsidiary of the University of Tennessee. Watkins has led and participated in more than a dozen of these simulations, which are designed and held primarily for the benefit of those who work with lower income families. This program, designed by the Missouri Association for Community Action, is used by local agencies around the country to unite social service providers, educators, government leaders, civic groups and the business community to build an understanding of poverty.

University President Dan Boone has also led efforts to bring the simulation to the campus in hopes to give an awareness of the community that surrounds campus. “Jesus encouraged his followers to be compassionate toward those in need. In an effort to help us, as followers of Christ, to empathize with those around us have little income and who are trying to care for their families,” said Boone.

Important Dates:
March 28 Simulation number 1 from 10:30 A.M. -12:30 P.M.
March 29 Simulation number 2 from 10:30 A.M. -12:30 P.M.
April 2 Simulation number 3 from 7:00-9:00 P.M.
April 3 Simulation number 4 from 1:00-3:00 P.M.