The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

Students would benefit from financial planning, life skills

Ellie Menke
Mrs. Kristina Luster and other counselors already speak to upperclassmen about how to go about their college searches. Perhaps there could be an addition of financial planning and/or life skills beyond MC.

“You came to Carmel as a boy. If you care to struggle and work at it, you will leave as a man.” 

Everyone affiliated with Mount Carmel knows the line from the signs hung in the Commons and Student Center. The problem though is that sometimes that struggle and hard work might not help students in the future with their own personal finance and career path. Students would benefit from more resources on these two topics so that when students leave the comforts of MC  for college and the workforce, they will know how to succeed better financially after they graduate.

Financial literacy is one of the most important skills that anyone can obtain. The understanding of financial concepts, such as interest rates, student loan credit scores, and budgeting are all things students need to know in college and life in general.

A 2022 U.S. News article surveyed around 30,000 college students across 440 colleges to see if students were financially literate and only 53% felt prepared to manage their money. That leaves an estimated 9.5 million college students financially illiterate.

Story continues below advertisement

Students need to know how to understand the basics of personal financing. 

“I think the information in there is important,” said Mr. Scott Tabernacki ’02, principal and instructor for the Incubator business course at MC. “Have students invest in a company for a year or create their own company and trade. Things like that can really hammer that home.”

With resources and knowledge to help students understand basic finances, they will be more successful after MC. Once in college, students need to figure out what they will do for a career. There are endless options. From business to even fire science, there is something for everyone to learn; however, knowing what to do is more difficult than many think.

“Students can benefit a bit more in the exploration of their future,” said Mrs. Kristina Luster, Dean of Student Services and counselor for MC seniors. “They don’t understand what careers are available for them.”

One idea Mrs. Luster mentioned was a paid program called YouScience. It’s a program that helps students decide their career paths based on their interests and personalities. Students take a test that shows careers that line up with what they want, and that ties to their interests. When Mrs. Luster tested out the program, the results lined up with her current job. 

A program like this can help students properly find a career choice without going through the trouble of changing their major over and over. Many people still don’t know what to do even before they pick a degree. Some won’t know until their third year of college.

“I think we [at MC] know we are not just college-focused but career-focused,” said Mr. Tabernacki.

While personal financing and career planning are important for teens who are beginning to work, there’s a bigger problem.

“I don’t think MC needs a class on personal finance but a class around developing life skills,” said Mrs. Luster.

According to the 2021 report from North Dakota State University, only about 30% of kids normally cook their own dinner. It’s also safe to say that most teen drivers don’t know how to change a tire.

Some students also might not have a figure at home to help them. MC can benefit from a class or some extracurricular which can help students with these basic life skills. Most students need to be ready for the real world, even if it’s just knowing how to tie a necktie. 

MC has been a generational hub for nearly a century, and MC has helped direct students to their futures. Every teacher or administrator wants the best for all students and a program that can help students prepare for their future in life is necessary.

Whether it’s a teacher, alumnus, father, or even just a classmate who comes by to help, it can still impact someone’s life. Financial literacy and career planning can help someone have a proper future, but just basic skills can help tremendously too.

Mount Carmel is where struggle and hard work lead to success, but success needs to be learned.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jack Breakey '24
Jack Breakey '24, Staff Writer
John “Jack” Breakey is a Senior at Mount Carmel High School. Jack resides on the South Side of Chicago in the Morgan Park neighborhood. He also attended grammar school in the neighborhood at St. Cajetan School.  Jack is a member of Caravan Broadcasting Network as their Senior Producer and also a member of the MC Model UN club and a Peer Leader. Outside of school, he’s a member of the Chicago Fire Department Gold Badge Society. For hobbies, Jack enjoys bike riding, watching movies, playing video games, and researching government. One of Jack’s favorite pastimes is listening to music. He is a large fan of rock and roll, especially Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and the genre of bluegrass. This influence came from his father, Thomas Breakey, Mount Carmel class of 1982, and an active Chicago firefighter. His father has been a large inspiration for Jack, who has become a better man because of his father. Jack's dream job is working in international relations or national security. He researches current world events and conflicts while also being a student of history. Who knows? Jack might become the real Jack Ryan one day.