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San Jacinto High club – Adulting 101 – teaches teens about paying bills, staying on a budget

Learning how to navigate important life issues plague many high school seniors as they look ahead to life after graduation.
Feeling unprepared is what led Javier Cuevas, Payton McCartney and other San Jacinto High School students to form the Adulting 101 Club.
The club meets during both lunch periods and is open to students in all grades. Second-lunch Secretary Anaya Crouch said the club is designed to help students develop life skills.
Topics that members want to learn more about include buying groceries on a budget, balancing a checkbook, paying bills, lease agreements, credit card management, house and car maintenance, retirement planning and how to negotiate.
“With the mission being to learn to be independent and become financially and socially successful,” she said.
San Jacinto High School senior Javier Cuevas reads off a list of topics that students have agreed to research and present during weekly meetings of the Adulting 101 club. (Photo by Diane A. Rhodes, contributing photographer)
Second-lunch president Cuevas, 17, said the club doesn’t focus on college, just future adult life.
Cuevas and Crouch are assisted by second-lunch Vice President Aby Carillo. Serving alongside first-lunch President McCartney is Vice President Isboset Ibarra and Secretary Ghadir Seder.
“It hit me in August that I’m going to be graduating and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to handle it,” said Seder, 17. “I need to know how to hold myself accountable. We need to know about all the stuff that happens after graduation and it helps when we learn it from each other.”
First-lunch Adviser Andrew Maxwell, who teaches science, offers his room during lunch for the club.
Matthew Corum, an English teacher who is the second-lunch adviser, said he’s impressed by the students’ willingness to crowdsource their lessons, volunteering to research and present on a list of topics brainstormed by club leaders and members.
“I think learning a little bit about each of their topics will lessen their anxiety about adult life,” he said. “We tend to forget, as adults, the weight of that transition (from adolescence into adulthood) and how stressful all of adult life can seem.”
Adulting 101 club first-lunch president, Payton McCartney, left, goes over a computerized list of upcoming topics with first-lunch secretary Ghadir Seder. (Photo by Diane A. Rhodes, contributing photographer)
McCartney works part-time and said when she got her first payroll check she had questions about taxes and other deductions that her parents and employer helped her understand.
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“I had to make a resume and cover letter and then go for an interview so it was all good experience I can share with the club,” said McCartney, 17.
Interim Principal Courtney Hall said she is thrilled to have the club on campus.
“I am incredibly proud that its origination was driven from a student desire to have the additional life skills necessary to prepare them for the life challenges we all face,” Hall said. “We know it will help them to be successful in their future endeavors as adults upon leaving high school.”

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