On Friday, our site hosted its annual College & Career Fair, with invited guest speakers from the community, our district, and local industries or post-secondary schools. The purpose of the day is to inspire our students to pursue additional learning after high school and narrow down their career choices.
Too many of our students, and high school students in general, are overwhelmed by the choices available to them after graduation. Add to that the current economic climate in which even college graduates aren’t being welcomed into the workplace with open arms. Many of them are taking employment wherever they can, outside the fields they’ve been trained in. It may even be counterproductive to spend the time and money on college, if a technical certificate is more likely to garner a job in your field. Knowing how to effectively market themselves as employment candidates will be a valuable skill for young job-seekers.
Friday morning, students were given good advice from local educational representatives and local executives about the job application and interview process. They also participated in several activities in which they created budgets at various salary levels and investigated an extensive database of career information.
After lunch, students were assigned various breakout sessions, where they learned from industry experts about careers such as cosmetology, medical office assisting, radiography, nutrition, business & marketing, emergency medical services, social services, and nursing. Most speakers brought small gifts or coupons for students, which were highly prized.
The highlight of the afternoon was the appearance of firefighters with a fire engine and emergency medical vehicle and a visit by a LifeFlight helicopter. Watching the copter land was exciting for not only our students, but for the older babies. I snapped dozens of pictures of the girls with their own cell phones as they climbed from one vehicle to the other. The district camera crew shot lots of video and a lengthy interview with one student and the LifeFlight pilot.
The College and Career Fair was a perfectly satisfying end to a very busy week. Our students were inspired, enlightened, and fired up about their experience, which was exactly what we were hoping for when we first started planning this event last fall. What fun to see plans take flight!