“There is a lot of good information here,” said Coty Painter, a senior at the school.
Painter, who plans to become an auto mechanic, said although he has considered the military, he has committed to attending Shelton State Community College.
“There were a few colleges that talked about available scholarships that I didn’t know about,” he said. “I’m learning a lot. And everyone has a different story about their career choices — it has been interesting hearing about it.”
Senior Amanda Pitts said the career fair opens up students’ options.
“It expands your view of what you want to do,” she said.
Pitts, who plans to attend Jacksonville State University and get a degree in chemical engineering, said the career fair helped her realize there are more job options after she earns her degree than just the medical field.
“I spoke with the Navy guy,” she said. “I never knew you could do chemical engineering in the Navy.”
Pitts said representatives from Citizens Baptist Medical Center in Talladega and Honda Manufacturing of Alabama also gave her information about career paths as a chemical engineer.
“I think the career fair is a good idea,” she said. “It opens up job opportunities before we graduate from high school and have to start college.”
Principal Terry Roller said the school focuses a lot of time on college and career readiness.
“It is great to see all the students exploring and investigating possible and potential career paths,” he said. “Out of 120 seniors, about 95 have either applied or been placed in colleges or the military. That’s my number one focus — to make sure we help them prepare for the future.”
Roller said the school counselors, teachers and administrators are instrumental in helping students prepare for the future.
“We are committed to helping them achieve whatever their desired path is — military, two-year college or four-year college,” he said. “We don’t let ‘my parents didn’t do it’ or ‘my parents don’t know how to do it’ serve as a variant. We break through those barriers by providing whatever assistance is needed and do whatever it takes to continue the process even after they graduate.”
Cassandra Shelton, health science teacher who organized the career fair, said 19 vendors attended, including universities, health care providers, public services, military recruiters and more.
“It was a great success,” she said. “We had students make up their minds, change career paths, decide to join the military.”
Shelton said students in the career tech program made suggestions as to which vendors they wanted to see attend the career fair.
“We plan to hold the career fair annually, and also follow up with the juniors and seniors who chose a career because of the fair,” she said. “We want to implement a process to track them after graduation to see if this helped.”
Shelton thanked all the vendors who participated in the career fair.
“We have had a lot of positive feedback from the students,” she said. “They really seemed to enjoy it.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.