From seed to sale: Life Skills class grows and sells succulents


Natalie Arbatman, Editor-In-Chief

Selling 90 succulents in just three days, Life Skills students spent months growing their succulents from the seed, culminating in their sale around campus last week. 

The money from the sales helps to maintain the business and pay for classroom supplies, and community outings, said Special Education Teacher Seamus Quillinan. 

“The students are helping each other and they are able to guide each other without the staff’s help… so the overall product is all their work,” Instructional Assistant Mariana Baltazar-Cortes said. 

The project teaches Life Skills students vocational skills – such as consistency, responsibility, punctuality, and communication – while being hands-on. Hands-on learning is particularly engaging for students, said Quillinan. 

The project “integrates so many academic skills and real-life skills that they can hopefully benefit from after high school,” Quillinan said. 


With several types of succulents and pots, some donated by community members, students sold succulents in booths on campus. Students, teachers, and administrators bought them.  

“Since our students learn by doing, this is the perfect process for our students to create a business from the ground up and really do everything involved,” Quillinan said. 

Quillinan said some students “are all about selling.” Although most Life Skills students participated in the growing, only a few sold around campus and, according to Baltazar-Cortes, freshman Makayla Garcia even volunteered to sell. Baltazar-Cortes said that during the first couple of sales, Garcia was shy and often turned to her aid to answer student questions about size and pricing. But after the first day, she “knew how to do it on her own and got more comfortable,” Baltazar-Cortes said. 

“A lot of these skills we’re teaching them are the skills that they’re going to use in the future, and in the world outside of high school,” Instructional Assistant Ivana Cruz said. 

“For example, they don’t just practice money math, they actually work with money in real life,” Baltazar-Cortes said.

The Life Skills class purchased dirt, seeds, rocks, and pots to grow their succulents and students participated in their planting, maintaining, and finally harvesting. Quillinan said the department is planning on doing a Mother’s Day sale in May. 

“I’m so proud of what the students accomplished in this past sale and I’m excited to see how the next one goes,” Cruz said.