Bradenton’s Daniela Landry Hernandez and her sister Alexandra have seen checks before, but they don't have any experience in writing them.
In less than 2 minutes, that changed.
The Landry Hernandez sisters, who are 16, learned about the basics of budgeting and finance during Braden River Library’s Adulting 101 session July 20.
From checking and savings accounts to debit and credit cards to how to build a budget, the girls were taking a class on how to be better prepared for adult life.
The Adulting 101 sessions have been geared toward children in middle and high school. Each session has focused on a different topic such as mental health, nutrition, time management, applying for jobs and basic sewing and clothing care.
Rachel Scharbo, the teen librarian at the Braden River Library, said the library started hosting Adulting 101 sessions last year. The staff found the program to be popular and beneficial enough to offer the sessions again this summer.
Scharbo said anywhere between 10 and 15 teens have been attending each session compared to the five to seven teens who attended last year.
“We’ve wanted to focus on things that probably weren’t going to be covered in school,” Scharbo said. “I hang out with a lot of teens because of my job. They do talk about, ‘Oh, we’re not going to use this stuff in the real world, why can’t (the schools) teach us about taxes or something like that?’”
Throughout the sessions, Scharbo provides resources available to attendees such as apps or websites they can access for more information.
“It’s best even if we just introduce the concept to them so they’re aware of it,” she said.
Alexandra Landry Hernandez said she found the mental health and nutrition sessions most interesting.
“This generation is most open to anxiety, depression and other things," Alexandra Landry Hernandez said. "With the rise of social media and kids being aware of the issues now more than ever, it’s definitely causing a lot of stress, anxiety, back pain and depression.”
Alexandra Landry Hernandez said the Adulting 101 sessions were encouraging because they have been learning tips and tricks they can use in the future.
“We’re actually learning something we need in life, which I’m really happy about,” she said. “I usually am very stressed and paranoid about the future. Having these sessions reassures me that I have information available and widely known, and (the future) won’t be scary. Thankfully, there’s people who discuss it at an early age so I won’t be totally unprepared when the time comes to do taxes or make food and understand mental health.”
Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.