(COVINGTON, La.) The senior class filed into the Briggs Assembly Center at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, April 13,to learn real world lessons on Life Skills Day.
“It was a great opportunity to learn useful skills,” senior Kyle Schmitt said. “I think it will be very applicable sooner than we realize. It was a nice break from class, but with college approaching, the biggest thing I got out of it was learning about how to balance money a little better and future planning.”
The event featured several speakers, both St. Paul’s alumni and local community leaders.
Journalism teacher and professional P.R. copywriter Christi Simoneaux spoke on the avoidance of fake news, hoping to spread awareness of the current proliferation of media manipulation and prepare students to be intelligently aware of current events.
An alumni panel consisting of Jacob Hewson ’14, Drake Pierce ’15, Joe Mason ’15 and Chris Barnett ’16 offered insight into the college experience, its many pitfalls, and strategies for overcoming them.
The class also heard from alumni Chris Price ’01 on living out a life of faith and chastity after high school.
The seniors then broke up into groups to hear from alumni and Covington Police Department Officer George Turgeau ’00 on making good choices and avoiding destructive decisions; from Metaire Bank Vice President Brad Schroeder on cash management, the importance of keeping financial records and avoiding credit card debt in college; and from Dunavant Wealth Strategies President Eric Dunavant on debt management, the importance of maintaining a credit score and strategies to avoid identity theft.
Life Skills Day has its origins in a conversation between Dunavant and former St. Paul’s Vice Principle for Development Bro. Gale Condit, FSC, about the importance of preparing students for the challenges of adulthood. Although not previously associated with St. Paul’s, Dunavant wanted to offer seniors a look at life after high school and has helped with the event ever since. Joining him is the St. Paul’s Renaissance Board, the principle supporter and organizer of Life Skills Day.
The event is a production of the St. Paul’s Renaissance Board and is funded by the Celebrity Waiters Dinner. It is a well established on campus, and according to Renaissance Board Member Danielle Lavie, it is intended to offer students a look at life after high school in order to prepare them for the challenges of adulthood.
“We’re trying to give the guys a leg up to understand skills that they don’t learn in the academic world to try to be successful when they leave home,” Lavie said. “When I look at what’s going on around the room, I see guys staying after to talk to the presenters and get more information. If we can reach just a handful of the guys and give them something that they benefit from, then it’s worth it.”
Senior Life Skills Day was closed off with raffle drawings for door prizes from which the students could win gift cards to Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and gas cards for Shell gas stations. The gift cards will help students as they begin to become financially independent and budget for themselves.