Course helps Silicon Valley teens graduate to grown-up

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- Does anyone really know where the line is when a teenager becomes an adult? Students at a South Bay high school are taking a special course called "adulting" to prepare them better to make the transition.

It's not easy to be a teenager growing up in Silicon Valley. Just ask Justin, a high school junior.

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"With the start-ups and everybody being so rich and powerful, like, it causes a rapid transition from being a small child to being an adult, and there's not really an in-between," said Justin Salim.

Last year, students at Summit Denali in Sunnyvale asked for a special course to help them become adults. On Friday, for example, they're practicing how to do mock interviews for jobs. And you can see how nervous they are.

For a generation used to texting, they need to learn how to communicate face-to-face.

"Good eye contact, a firm handshake, some of the kind of interpersonal skills that we think will help our students find the answers they need out there in the world," said Lucretia Witte, director of expeditions at Summit Denali.



The course is called "adulting." They explore their sense of purpose and learn practical skills, such as paying taxes, using credit cards, buying a house, and polishing their resumes. Even the teachers were surprised about what they wanted to learn.

Junior Nicole Sanchez Steffanoni said not to dismiss their hunger to learn more about adulthood.

"Oh, they're just kids, you know... but we're kind of interested. Personally, I'm interested in learning what it's like to grow up, what it's like to encounter yourself in certain experiences," she said.

They're still teenagers at heart. Some are not yet comfortable putting on a suit and tie for a job interview. But adulting will help them bridge the gap faster and smarter.

By the time the school year ends in June, these students will have gone through a total of eight weeks of adulting. While it is a pass-fail course, it's not likely any of the students will fail at being adults.
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