Teens like to spend money on clothes, cars, music, games, everything! Many teens work at a minimum wage job to earn spending money but plan on making more money as they grow into adulthood. But what happens when teens don’t graduate high school?
According to a counselor at Operation Bright Future, a truancy prevention program, 21- to 24-year-olds who are not high school graduates earn $14,000 less per year than their peers who have a high school diploma. When compared with peers who have earned a college degree, the amount doubles to a nearly $30,000 difference.
It’s important for teens to understand that an education translates into not just more money but more job choices and more job satisfaction in their future. Dropping out of school offers little hope for teens who want to make a solid living, be financially stable and enjoy their future jobs.
- What jobs do Melissa and Ingrid list as those you can get without an education?
- According to Martin Segura (Operation Bright Future), what is the average salary for a 21- to 24-year-old who DID NOT graduate from high school? What is the average salary of a 21- to 24-year-old who DID graduate from high school? What is the numerical difference?
- What does the last line mean: And later on is the rest of your life?
STUDENT SELF-REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- What things would you like to have in the future (consider both things you can buy and things you would like to attain, such as parenthood)? Are those things attainable without a high school education? Why?
- How do you prepare for obtaining the things you want? How do you plan for your “dream purchases?”
A Career Fair
As the first step in this career readiness exercise, have students visit http://www.mynextmove.org/ to review possible career and job opportunities. Ask each student to select a possible career path, and answer the following questions:
- Work Description – What does a person do in this career?
- Education – What training, preparation & education are needed to do this occupation?
- Skills – What basic skills, work place skills and abilities are needed?
- Work Situation – What kind of environment is there?
- Physical demands – What is required physically?
- Earnings – What kind of salary or pay is earned?
- Future Outlook – What is the growth rate expected for this career?
- Related Careers – What are some similar careers?
- School Courses – What school classes are helpful for this career?
Have each student create a poster that describes the career for display in your classroom.
About the Program
A real story to help teens to understand that an education translates into not just more money but more job choices and more job satisfaction in their future. Dropping out of school offers little hope for teens who want to make a solid living, be financially stable and enjoy their future jobs.