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Students Prepare for Their Futures
While high school students were still actively engaged in learning across Kent-Meridian High School, April 25, 2018, was far from a typical Wednesday. In place of teachers, more than 70 local professionals led classroom discussions inspiring a new generation of artists, business professionals, engineers, first responders, healthcare providers, and more.
Every other year, the Kent-Meridian Career Day empowers students to explore a wide variety of fields, industries, trades, educational pathways, and personal growth areas. This year, students followed their passions, interests, and hearts to four of 65 available presentations.
Sophomore Sadie Nguyen chose to attend the civil, electrical, and mechanical engineer sessions. “I personally enjoyed the session with Ingersoll Rand,” she shared. “Not only did [presenter Aaron Williamson] tell us about the company, but he also provided further information, photos, and items that showcased the possible career opportunities for a mechanical engineer from designers, manufacturers, technical publications and management.”
In one of Washington State’s most diverse high schools, Career Day has a greater purpose than providing information. While it’s amazing to tell students what pathways are available after graduation, it’s better – and far more important – to show them they can do it.
“The most important thing I learned was that regardless of what you think a worker in [a certain] career looks like, we can change that definition,” Sadie reflected after Gloryln Maw’s civil engineering session. “Meeting someone who is living the experience is inspiring. Whether showing you it’s possible, or even encouraging you to keep going – it's knowing that one day you can be like the person in front of you.”
Career Day was also a great opportunity for community members to get involved, share their own passion, and seek new talent. FamilyCare of Kent founder and nurse practitioner Bob Smithing, MSN, ARNP, FAANP, came to promote the nursing profession and is already hoping to be invited back in 2020.
“The students were interactive and asked great questions,” Bob exclaimed. “I was tickled when a mom came in [the next day] and let me know her daughter had totally enjoyed the presentation and is thinking of nursing now.”
Assistant Principal David Radford recognizes the importance of role models, like Bob and the 72 other career professionals who spoke at Career Day, in producing globally competitive graduates ready for college, career, and life.
“We are not able to prepare our students for their futures without the support of our local and regional community partnerships and we are thankful for the support of our local community members, businesses, organizations, and educational institutions,” he said.