By Glenn C. Silva, Neighb News Photographer/Correspondent
Elizabeth Hastings Middle School held its annual College/Career day on Thursday, 3/21, featuring more than 40 speakers from a variety of professions and colleges. The day focused on giving students the opportunity to learn first-hand about the many college and career options available.
The guidance department organized speakers in careers from all walks of life including an airline pilot, a dog groomer, a TV news anchor, financial planner, medical professionals, engineers, the military, the trades, and many more.
A question-and-answer session followed each talk. The event was offered to all students in grades 6 to 8.
The day was divided into three parts. At 8:15 a.m. the entire student body of 400+ met in the auditorium where a panel of four speakers fielded questions from the students, focusing on post-secondary education: Sara Gallagher and Carissa Rego, freshmen at URI; Christine Oliveira, a school counselor at Fairhaven High School; and Joe Varao, an admissions counselor at Roger Williams College. Dawn Rego, School Counselor at EHMS, moderated.
“An all-nighter is exactly what you think it is,” said Ms. Oliveira when a student asked if there were late nights of homework and studying.
From there the students dispersed into classrooms where individual speakers spoke for about 20 minutes. Each student had the opportunity to learn about four different careers.
Monika Keller, an airlilne pilot, spoke about the great places she got to travel to and how the starting salary of a pilot for a commercial airline is $118,000. Yet, she said, there is a shortage of pilots.
Patrick Little, Channel 12 News Anchor, talked about how the landscape of delivering news has changed since he started.
“My day starts at 4:45 a.m. and involves the one-minute video pushed to our social media feeds,” he said. “People need their news and need it now.”
When Madison Costa an eighth-grader asked if he had to do a lot of the research himself, Mr. Little answered, “We have a team that gathers the news from various sources and I’m the guy that delivers the news.”
Wayne Oliveira, a Fairhaven firefighter/ paramedic, answered seventh-grader Angelie Goncalves’ question, “How do you feel when you save a life?”
“Breathing life into someone that wasn’t breathing a minute ago does feel pretty good and makes the job worth every bit,” answered Mr. Oliveira.
The last hour of the in-service day was spent back in home-room with students discussing what they talked about in their sessions.
In a classroom of about 20 students, less than half knew what they wanted for their profession before the day started and the sessions gave them insight into what the various professions involved and what each one earned.
Eighth-grader Caiden Lynch sat in on a session with a pharmacist and noted that, “They make a lot of money.”
But when asked if that’s something that interested her she only said maybe.
Luke Ferland, also in the eight grade, who sat in with an airline pilot, had the salaries committed to memory and said, “I wouldn’t mind making that kind of money and get to fly a plane, too.”
Students said they would have liked to have seen someone from the entertainment/TV-movie-music industry, and a photographe, as they found those careers to be interesting.
Students rounded out the day filling out a personal traits worksheet and discussing the traits needed to be successful in a particular field. When asked if the day helped them, more than half of the class said that it had.
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