Wilson SD Career Fair joins school and community
Wilson SD middle schools (West and Southern) held their annual Career Fair in November. Organizing and coordinating the day is a year-round process. Dozens of attendees from local businesses, district staff, and college and post-secondary institutions were invited to take part in the program.
The fair consisted of four different learning opportunities. More than 50 employees from the area set up at stations in the gymnasium for students to walk around, ask questions and explore different career paths. There was a wide range of careers featured in this area including a K-9 handler from the sheriff’s office, squad commander from the Army National Guard, makeup artist, CEO, chiropractor and many more. Students had the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and get exposure to careers they may have not considered before.
Another aspect of the Career Fair involves the college presenter forum. This included various post-secondary institutions speaking to students about getting into college or trades, military opportunities, scholarships, student involvement and playing sports at the college level. Becky Eckenrode, assistant director of Admissions for Penn State Berks woke the student crowd by rehearsing Penn State’s famous “We Are!” chant. After the speakers concluded, students were able to ask questions and get a full range of post-secondary information. This year’s representatives also included Kutztown University, Alvernia University, Albright College and Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences.
Many eighth-graders at Wilson SD middle schools are currently taking courses that will count toward their high school transcript. Because of this, these students are anxious to ask questions about what high school life is like and are planning their academic future. One of the rotations of the fair gives them the opportunity to interact with high school administrators and present-day ninth-grade students. They get to hear about life at the high school and connect the transition out of middle school and upcoming course selections with their future career goals.
A new element to this year’s Career Fair involved volunteer speakers and local businesses. Representatives from Hope Rescue Mission, Berks Greater Food Bank and Reading Hospital spoke to students about volunteer opportunities that will help them grow their individual character and also give them the volunteer experience that is important in setting them apart when it is time to apply for colleges and jobs. Students learned about the mission of each nonprofit organization and how they can get involved. Local businesses were also represented and spoke with students about what they look for in potential employees and what proper interview etiquette looks like when applying for a job.
This unique and comprehensive career experience is a Wilson tradition that will carry on for years to come. Planning and preparation for the Career Fair continues up until the day of and starts for the following year right after career day is over. Students and community members get to interact with one another, and eighth-grade students at Wilson SD have a fun and interactive day that is invaluable to their career exploration path.