At Neosho High School, the next generation of adults is in training, especially in Charity Scheickert's Fundamentals class.

At Neosho High School, the next generation of adults is in training, especially in Charity Scheickert's Fundamentals class.
Scheickert's students are learning job skills that they can put to use in real world employment in the future. They also have an ongoing classroom industry, creating candy bouquets that are sold to fund class field trips. In October, however, members of the Fundamentals class decided to do something different.
Since several class members have family members who have or are dealing with breast cancer, the students decided they would create special candy bouquets that would include lollipops with the message that “Cancer Sucks.”
Using the color pink, a color that is associated with breast cancer awareness, the students made 50 of the special themed bouquets and offered them for sale for $5 each. From the very beginning, students knew they wanted to donate the money toward something that would be used locally and would also help in the fight against breast cancer.
"Let's put it this way," Neosho High School student Zachary Shourds said. "We wanted to help out. We wanted to help others get rid of breast cancer."
Laken Talley, one of the students, wanted to do something because of her aunt's experience with breast cancer.
"Let's do this and help other people out," Dylan Lewis, another one of Scheickert's students, said about the proposed project.
So the students chose a design theme, gathered supplies, and got started. They also choose the color theme and additional decorations.
In addition to candy and a can of soda, the Halloween candy bouquets also have a pair of eyes incorporated into the design. "Those were my idea," Jesse Vance said with a grin.
Each class member has a specific job in the assembly process.  Shourds is assigned to glueing, an important part of building each bouquet. Shourds operates a hot glue gun in his efforts. "It's painful," he said, speaking about when hot glue touches his skin. "But it's fun."
Lewis along with classmates Brighten Ellison and Jesse Vance all curled ribbons to decorate the bouquets. "I'm a curling machine," Lewis said. Jesse agreed that they were all what he called 'curling masters'.
Katlynn Albert handles quality control. "I am quality control," Albert said. "If there's too much glue or not enough, I send them back. I'm her (Scheickert's) assistant. I'm always asking her what I can do. I help her out, doing out whatever I need to do."
"The point of our class is to learn job skills," Scheickert said. "And to pay attention and to stay on the job." Her students made 50 of the Breast Cancer Month bouquets in six weeks. Bouquets were sold for $5 each and $2 for every one sold went into the donation. The remaining amount paid for the supplies needed in producing the bouquets.
Each student went home with five bouquets to start with and some sold more than that. Caleb Smith sold a total of 19 to make the class record.
Scheickert contacted the Neosho Women's Pavilion at Freeman Neosho to discover where their donation could make a difference. She talked with Sherry Collins, a mammographer who suggested donations could go to the Helping Friends Mammogram Fund. That fund assists women who need financial assistance for an annual mammogram.
The students presented $100 to Collins on Wednesday at Neosho High School.
"Thank you for having me. I can't tell you how much this means," Collins told the students. "This will pay for a mammogram for one woman. What your group has done is really, really wonderful. Keep up the good work. I am so proud of all of you."
Scheickert's class will continue making the candy bouquets and the sales will go toward upcoming field trips. The next one planned will take the students to the Kansas City Chiefs football stadium. Bouquets are made and sold for special events including Halloween, Valentine's Day, Homecoming,  Christmas and Easter.
To keep up with the class and to order future candy bouquets, the public is invited to follow them on their Facebook page, Neosho High School Fundamentals.