Cycling across America to advocate for "real life" education in schools

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Adrian De La Vega is on a mission. He's biking across the United States - alone.

Adrian De La Vega makes a stop in Jefferson City, Mo., as part of a nationwide capitol cycling tour. He is advocating for schools to teach more "real life" skill sets.

"I've been to Lansing, Michigan. I've been to Indianapolis, Indiana. And I've been to Jefferson City, Missouri, and Springfield, Illinois," De La Vega said. "I wanted to bring somebody but no one is as crazy."

He's doing it to raise awareness for what he calls a flaw in the education system when dealing with the "real world."

"Something like health. Mental, physical. Emotionally and spiritually. Finances are completely overlooked. How to network, how to win friends and influence people," De La Vega said. "A lot of these things that are just practical that help us in life need to be taught so the people that don't go to college have a foundation."

Not a lawmaker or a teacher, De La Vega says he doesn't have all the answers on how to address what he calls shortfalls in the education system.

"I don't even have one percent of the answers, but I do know this needs to be discussed," De La Vega mused.

"I think it's great that he's trying to bring awareness to it, because I think it's a very important skill all of these kids need to have. I don't remember having this in high school, and it's very important to know," said Sarah Edwards, a teacher at School of the Osage in Osage Beach.

Edwards teaches marketing and personal finance, a requirement for Missouri schools.

"We actually do a budgeting simulation where they get into a group, they have a family. They get get to research their jobs and find out how much their future career will make. They get to go out and find a house online, I make them search for houses. I give them things like credit card debt that they might have to factor into their budgets," Edwards said. "They have to budget for every single aspect and really see what it's like."

As for De La Vega, he hopes his message resonates with people across the nation, who will continue to try and share his message.

"Just one person to believe in me, and hopefully they can take the baton and keep pushing for better education."

De La Vega says he got the idea to bike across America in April and trained for about a month. Before he left for Topeka, Kansas, Thursday morning, he said he'd biked just over 700 miles.

De La Vega said he has not yet figured out logistics on getting to Hawaii at this time.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.