When I grow up …

Published 9:48 pm Friday, February 18, 2011

The PIke County Schools expo exposed hundreds of students to a myriad of career opportunities.

Letting children know they have multiple career options was the primary objective at the Alabama Army National Guard Armory Friday afternoon where the Pike County Board of Education held its 2nd Annual Career Expo.

The National Guard let the local area school counselors, who were instrumental in organizing the event, utilize the armory facilities to host students from the surrounding area in order to familiarize them to a host of different career options.

“We feel that the earlier we can provide them with opportunities to learn about what kinds of careers there are, the education that is needed to attain those careers and the amount of money they could potentially earn one day, the better,” said Michelle Taylor, counselor at Goshen. “Things like what we’re doing here give these students an idea of what they will need to concentrate on in order to better prepare themselves for their future.”

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Taylor said the preparation that went into organizing the event was somewhat tedious, but worth it.

“We contacted all the vendors, probably over 75 of them, by e-mail or phone call to see if they would like to become our partners in education and help us to help the kids prepare for their future,” Taylor said. “They have all been really great and we appreciate them taking the time out of their busy schedules to be here with us.”

Amy Brown, counselor from Banks School, said exposing children to a myriad of opportunities is important.

“A lot of children do not realize the number of careers that are available to them,” Brown said. “We have quite a few things out here that a lot of people don’t consider for possible careers, but they’re all important. For example, working with the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is an important job and somebody needs to do that, but it’s not a typical career that most children would think about, such as a doctor, dentist or a lawyer.”

Buffy Lusk, counselor at Goshen High School, said it is important for students to learn at young age that all jobs are not stereotypical.

“In other words, most children think of an engineer as being just a ‘male’ job and through meeting with the representative that is here from Auburn University’s College of Engineering, they can find out that jobs are available for women as well as men,” Lusk said.

Joey Holley, recruiter for Enterprise State Community College, sat at his table showcasing airframe and power plant technology to children as they walked by.

“They get an opportunity to see the different things they can do, different career possibilities that are out there for them and to get exposed to something like this at an early age is important,” Holley said. “I’ve had kids come by my table and see something about the Aviation program and say ‘oh yeah, I’d like to do that,’ and maybe six or seven years down the road, or whenever they graduate high school, they will still be interested. This is just an opportunity for them to be exposed to many different things that they could possibly be interested in.”