Who will "Thrive at 25"?
Sandy High students get glimpse of young adult responsibilities
Were you thinking about adult experience at the age of 14? Sandy High School's freshman are now.
On Thursday, May 7, the school's freshman gathered in the schools gym for an interactive assignment. They were greeted by dozens of volunteers ready to help them learn to Thrive at 25.
Sponsored by the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, Thrive at 25 is an event in which a student is told to choose a career and then wander the booths to see how his or her salary and expenses might measure up at the age of 25.
Students traveled around the gym stopping at booths to calculate monthly expenses. Booths had topics such as taxes, housing, insurance, cars, groceries and entertainment.
While the tax booth was busy much of the time, the childcare booth didnt see too much crowding. As the event wrapped up, Superintendent Aaron Bayer walked up to the quiet booth with a question.
How many kids did you turn away from having kids? he asked with a laugh.
The volunteers at the table laughed, but admitted many students lowered their expectations for the number of children they want to have by age 25 because of childcare expenses.
Usually it is a shock to people, adults too, of how much it costs, said Dawn Loomis, a member of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerces Career and Education Committee, which heads the event.
Jennifer McNeil, a Career Center coordinator at Sandy High School who has been involved with the event all three years, said they are thinking about pushing back the events chosen age to 35, changing its name to Thrive at 35 instead.
In this day and age people are getting married later, starting families later, she said, adding it is hard to expect every student to be established and settled at age 25.
Cassidy Moore, Layne Schilperoort and Megan Way were among the 325 freshman students to participate in the event. Schilperoort and Way both said they expected to have children by that age and lamented the extreme costs of childcare.
Daycare is ridiculous, Schilperoort said.
The three girls said some of the most surprising costs were car payments and entertainment.
After finishing her calculations, Cassidy said she was only negative $37 if she decided not to take a yearly vacation.
Im definitely going to have to work harder to make more money, said Megan. And be more smart about what (I) buy.
Only buy what you need, agreed Cassidy.
One of the things I like about (Thrive at 25) is it was something I never learned when I was in school, said Dawn Loomis, a member of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerces Career and Education Committee, which puts on the event.
After the event, all of the participating students are asked to fill out a reflection form and provide feedback about the event.
I think it was eye-opening for some of the kids The overriding reflection is how much everything cost, said McNeil citing entertainment and cell phones with multiple mentions. Most 14-year-olds dont think about that.
Loomis, who also works in business and industry workforce training at Mt. Hood Community College, hopes this experience will motivate students to take the next step in the career ladder.
Not everyone will go to college, or want to go to college, she said. But theres other ways to gain that training.
McNeil enjoys having the chamber involved in the annual event.
Were always looking to get the community involved in the school, she added. Its a really good way for us to bring in folks from Sandy who might not come into the high school and spend time with the students.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT