Adulting Course Addresses Life Skills

Career Center addresses life survival skills
By: Todd Martin
With all the advanced academic skills provided in Killeen ISD high schools, today’s graduating seniors often stress about the more mundane parts of growing up.
Career and Technical Education Program Advisor Siria Guerrero did something about that this year and with the help of administration and faculty pulled off the school’s first-ever “Adulting 101.”
A total of 250 juniors and seniors from across KISD’s five high schools registered to participate in the series of presentations Thursday at the Career Center.
They progressed through half-hour sessions learning the fine art of preparing and interviewing for their dream job, establishing and maintaining good credit, purchasing and maintaining a vehicle, responding to medical emergencies and much more.
“It was born out of asking the question ‘What fears do you have?’” Guerrero said as she walked through the Career Center during the adulting sessions.
Students heading into their senior year of high school or on the cusp of graduation often feel confident about their academic standing, but not so much about bills, changing a flat tire and interviewing for a job.
“They might not know how to rent an apartment or balance a checkbook,” the program advisor said.
The process of putting together a series of courses to address life skills was pretty easy given the specialties of the Career Center.
A trio of automotive instructors walked students and several parents through the basics of purchasing a vehicle, checking and changing fluids, how to change a flat tire and other mysteries of maintenance.
Cosmetology instructors described the fine points of appearance as it relates to a job interview – keep your hair out of your face to maximize eye contact and make sure fashion choices adhere to the culture of the company, for example.
Killeen ISD police officers, along with a nursing instructor and a former police officer now teaching video game design explained the dos and don’ts of a traffic stop with law enforcement.
“What I’m hearing is ‘this is important,’” Guerrero said. “We might make this a part of our regular schedule.”
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Jordan Wooten, a Harker Heights High School senior. He admitted when his mother suggested he attend, he wasn’t thrilled. Mom was right.
“They are teaching a lot of life skills that people should know,” he said. The senior soon heading to college said he learned a lot about the importance of maintaining a vehicle to get maximum usage and minimize cost over a long period of time.
Shoemaker High School senior Yein Kwon also learned about quick, easy ways to find out if a used vehicle is OK to purchase.
“I think it’s good,” she said. “It helps give us more information for life.”
Early College High School senior Lilian Sustaita is on track to earn both her high school diploma and an associate’s degree in the next few weeks. She was curious, though, about personal finance.
“I like it,” she said. “A lot of kids are clueless about this.” She explained her new knowledge about building good credit through making small purchases and paying off credit cards every month.