RACINE — Over 300 students from Southern Local School District recently experienced an all day career fair.
The district, in partnership with OhioMeansJobs – Meigs County, Meigs County Family and Children First Council, and with the health departments community health improvement plan, hosted a “Career Palooza” at Southern High School (SHS). The event began at 8 a.m. and lasted until the end of the day for all sixth to 12th grade students.
Theresa Lavender of OhioMeansJobs – Meigs County stated, “We are wanting to educate students on the available careers to the students to help define their career pathway.”
Lavender explained approximately 30 professionals came to explain their careers and the required training needed to perform the job. Southern Local Guidance Counselor Andrea Wiseman commented a different professional was located throughout the classrooms and students rotated classrooms every 15 minutes to hear a different professional speak. At 2 p.m. all the professionals and students gathered into the high school and elementary school gymnasiums, so the students could speak with the professionals who most compelled them.
Guest speaker Evan Shaw, a documentary film maker for WOUB in Athens, stated, “I came and spoke to everyone today in the whole assembly and told them my story, I graduated from Meigs High School in 2002, and then this is a great chance for me to give back and show kids there’s an opportunity out there to do less traditional career paths.”
Wiseman shared this is the first year for the Career Palooza, but she would like to see this become an annual school event. She explained everyone involved with the event had been planning since October and during the planning gave the students a survey to see who they would want to visit the school. Wiseman commented the students primarily requested careers needing two year and below years worth of education for job qualification.
Wiseman said, “We go into these classrooms, kids are engaged…the presenters are having just as much fun or more fun…they’re engaged with over 300 students, when do they get to experience talking to 300 kids with their full attention.”
Student Rachel Jackson said, “I really liked Becky Zuspan with the Ohio University Health Services where she kinda coaches the kids into what they need and what classes to take…I’m looking into going into the health field and it was really nice to get an expert opinion.”
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.