The Long Beach School District holds that two of its main goals are to provide students with college and career-readiness skills and to give them meaningful opportunities for community engagement. To help fulfill both of these goals, schools around the district recently hosted Career Day celebrations, giving students a chance to meet and speak with local professionals, who shared their keys to success and their insights into dozens of traditional and nontraditional careers.
Leading off the celebration was the Long Beach Middle School Career Day. In the days leading up to the event, students filled out surveys to give them an idea of which careers might best suit their interests and abilities. The middle schoolers were paired with specific presenters based on their survey results. In small group settings, guest speakers talked about the skills and training they needed to be successful in their chosen careers, the tasks they perform on the job, and the challenges and rewards they experience on a daily basis. At the end of the day, students came away with a list of ideas for things they can start doing now to help them reach their future career goals.
The Long Beach High School Career Fair gave students an opportunity to network with local professionals representing a wide variety of careers, including law, medicine, public service, marketing, broadcasting, public relations, green technologies, school administration, business, finance, banking, accounting, hospitality, publishing, library services and the military. Students were also able to speak with representatives from local technical schools and explore summer job opportunities in the local community.
Lindell Elementary School hosted a two-day Career Awareness program for fifth graders. Parents and community members were invited to share their career experiences, focusing on the education and training needed to be successful in their careers.
Brian Patton, who works for Global Security at NBC, explained the importance of working as a team, being responsible and demonstrating strong character. Long Beach Fire Chief Richard Corbett found math, science and history very helpful in his career. Andrew Miller, a criminal defense attorney, enlisted students to help him solve the "The Case of the Missing Lunch Box." Pediatrician Dr. Matthew Cohen shared his lifelong fascination with the human body.
Although the 18 guest speakers represented a variety of professions, they all shared a love for their work and stressed the importance of being lifelong learners.
At Lido School’s Sixth Annual Career Fair, students went on a hands-on adventure in career exploration, led by alumni, parents and local professionals representing careers as varied as real estate, law enforcement, web design, retail merchandising, lifeguarding and communications. Lts. Anthony Fallon and Sam Pinto of the Long Beach Fire Department allowed students to don their fire gear to help them experience what it feels like to be a firefighter.
Drago Karodzic, the pizza chef at Long Beach Middle School, invited students to make their own pizzas. Local radio celebrity Halftime Howie simulated a radio broadcast. Chuck Kupfer, a golf pro at the Lido Golf Club, demonstrated the basics of a good swing. Master Park of Park’s Martial Arts in Long Beach led students in a tae kwon do exercise. One of the most celebrated professionals of the day was Freeport police officer Dave Karp’s canine partner Gunnar, who delighted students with a demonstration of his unique law enforcement skills.
Proving that it is never too early to start planning for future careers, West School kindergartners celebrated Community Day, creating a mini city called Westland in which they served as the bankers, grocery clerks, postal carriers, police officers and firefighters who kept the city humming. To prepare for Community Day, they visited local merchants and public services to learn more about the people who work in their neighborhood. In June, the older children at West School will celebrate their own Career Day, welcoming local community members to share useful advice that will help them start preparing for a host of promising careers.