Publisher’s Page: Advising this year’s graduates


By John A. Winters, Publisher

By now, roughly 2,000 students from private and public high schools in Coweta, as well as those home-schooled, have gotten all sorts of advice about moving forward after high school. Advice from parents, coaches, teachers and yes, fellow students. They are inundated with advice right now.

Which is why it makes perfect sense for us to add our two cents, currently valued at two quarters due to inflation.

10-10-80 Rule: Give away 10 percent of everything you make: your favorite charity, your church, some mission, some non-profit. Pay yourself 10 percent. Set aside money for an emergency or as investments. Please look up the definition of “emergency,” which involves knowing the difference between “want” and “need,” which we will get to. Finally, learn to live off 80 percent of your income. It is very doubtful you will ever have financial troubles following this plan.

Want and Need: Learn the difference. A “need” is food, clothing, shelter, transportation. “Wants” are pretty much everything else. This is not to say you can’t have nice things, but rather make sure you can afford your “wants” by paying cash. Try to wait 30 days on any “want.” If you still want that item more than anything else, then go get it.

Sign Your Name: Or, be willing to stand up for your work. Don’t do something halfway. Be proud of your accomplishments. Be able to say “I did this” with confidence.

Find Your Sams: These are the ones who have traveled the same road you are preparing for. Call them coaches, mentors or those old guys, these are the ones who have been there and done that. Learn from them so you won’t make the same mistakes they did.

Keep Your Word: A dying act. Even if it hurts, you promise, you keep it. Remember it’s your reputation.

Follow Your Passion: Find it first. What puts a smile on your face? What makes you wake up before the crack of dawn? What do you love doing? Figure out how to make that your career. Remember that a job is just that; and never let it define you.


While working on this part of my column, I came across these facts from a well-known teen suicide prevention site: “More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,041 attempts by young people grades 9-12.”

That is mindblowing. And those numbers don’t reflect the even larger pool of teenagers suffering from severe depression, fear, anxiety or grief in whatever form.

After losing their daughter and sister Abby Bacho to a car accident involving a distracted teen, Abby’s family discovered there were not a lot of grief services available for youth in the county.

They set out to change that. With a generous gift from the Newnan Junior Service League, the Bacho’s Abby’s Angels Foundation is using those funds and teaming up with Kate’s Club, which empowers youth facing the loss of a parent or sibling.

An orientation meeting will be held Sept. 15 at Odyssey Charter School. The goal is to create a place where children and youth can share the feelings with their peers who have faced the same trials. And all done in a safe and secure environment.

There is more information available in this week’s Shopper. If you or someone in your family would benefit from this service, please do so.

Thanks for reading.

Leave a reply