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What prompts a 6th grader to declare a career choice?
Career Fair at John Beck Elementary, funded by a Warwick Education Foundation grant. 80 sixth-grade girls and boys watch four science-oriented presenters talk about their jobs. And one boy discovers what he wants to be when he grows up.
“A chemist,” he volunteers, fresh from the presentations and already imagining his place in the world of work.
Will he stick with this vision of his own future? Change his mind several times before college is over? Or find himself in a yet-to-be invented biomedical job?
When you’re good at something—let’s say science—you tend to like it; when you like a subject, you tend to be good at it and pursue it.
What’s the right choice?
Vocational choice is less about finding the right job and more about the right job finding you.
Knowing such things exist as “chemist” or “cardiovascular specialist,” “nurse” or “professor of physics” might be how the process begins. Hearing about a job’s details could be when a tug in a particular direction first exerts its magnetism. And that, in turn, leads to decisions as to which courses to take in school, subjects to master, and what colleges or tech schools require.
Which is why our Foundation makes events possible like the “What in the World” Career Fair at John Beck Elementary.
And why the school district provides opportunities like internships for high school seniors in local companies.
My biggest hope and takeaway from the Fair is for my students to start dreaming big about their futures.
6TH GRADE TEACHER&
CAREER FAIR GRANT APPLICANT
You never know when a student will start saying, “I could do that.” So wise teachers place attractive choices in the path of students, on the chance they’ll “start dreaming big about their futures,” as Erica Breckenmaker puts it. The Beck sixth-grade teacher, who wrote the Career Fair grant and organized the event, adds that “what I love best about Career Fair is how the students start thinking about their futures and getting excited about what they could be doing with their lives.”
The Foundation sees its role as helping the schools by funding Career Fairs that focus on different areas of the full STEAM spectrum—science, technology, engineering, the arts, or math.
The Beck event was done for just $390. The benefits? Not just opening their eyes to career possibilities, but inspiring students to take more science courses.
We know you sometimes wonder about the impact of your financial contributions to the Foundation. Maybe you’re providing the impetus that launches a science career leading to the discovery of a life-saving drug or a new cure for some rare but deadly cancer.
Your donations aren’t just about higher grades or test scores. You’re helping change lives. Minds are awakened, hands are raised, dreams are born.
Great teaching lights the fire. Please keep bringing the kindling.