By Mark Squibb/January 13, 2023
The Avalon Northeast Rotary club, in tandem with Holy Spirit High Interact Club (junior Rotarians), hosted their annual career fair on January 5.
Folks representing some 40 occupations, ranging from an astrophysicist to tattoo artists, volunteered their time to meet with students and field questions about their careers.
The participants were selected, in part, by students.
“We ask the students to identify who they would like to meet with, and then we try and make that happen,” said Rob Boychuk of the Rotary Club. “So, it’s an opportunity for students to learn more about careers that they’re interested in. And in some cases, in many cases, learn about careers that they had never thought of.”
Students were able to ask participants practical questions about their jobs, including the steps taken along the way.
“There’s no one way to get into a career,” said Boychuck. “And students need to hear, particularly if they’re feeling a little bit uncertain or a little anxious about what to do next, that there’s no one way to do it. So, you can start off in one area and end up in another area. And those stories are really important.”
Taylor Robinson, 17, is president of the school’s Interact Club.
“We asked people from different businesses and different occupations if they would volunteer and talk with students,” said Robinson. “It’s a really great opportunity for students to try and figure out what they want to do after high school… Like myself, a lot of students haven’t decided what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing. So, it’s great to be able to talk with all these different people.”
The fair, which was first held in 2018, had been sidelined by COVID for the past two years.
“We’re really glad to be able to do this after a two-year break,” said Boychuck. “It really, really only works in person. It didn’t make sense to try and do this in any other way. So, we took a two-year break and now we’re back at it.”
He said the Club does a survey following the fair, and that participants leave glowing reviews.
“They say, ‘Wow, I wish I had something like this when I was in high school,’” said Boychuck.
He would like to see other schools implement the program.
“We’re always tweaking things as best we can, but the template is working well,” said Boychuck. “And we have people here today from the school district, because I think there’s a template here that can be utilized in the school district.”