OUS helps kids choose future

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

Appropriately, Kristine Sandusky, a Dawson-Bryant eighth grader, wants to be an eighth grade math teacher.

Her commitment to the career path was re-enforced by the Together We Can Career Day, held on Friday at Ohio University Southern.

“It’s going to help me pursue it, it helped me to understand what I’m going to do,” Sandusky said. “I also learned that you have to like the people that you’re working with and you have to communicate with them.”

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Sandusky had just finished with a seminar on the education field, one of several offered at the event. Eighth graders from three local schools (Ironton, Rock Hill and Dawson-Bryant) got to choose their own seminars, taught by professionals in the field.

When they weren’t boning up at seminars, the students could wander the OUS halls, picking up info from several booths for career paths anywhere from the military to a video game designer.

Event organizer Nina Queen admits that eighth grade may seem a little early for students to think about their long-term goals, but now, she said, is the perfect time to start the conversation.

“They’re going to be selecting their high school classes in the next few weeks, so they are starting to think about it, because the school requires them to,” Queen said.

To hear student ambassador and volunteer Jessica Thompson tell it, the day’s events were having a big impact on the students.

“It’s wonderful, I’ve been surprised,” Thompson said. “They’re really enthusiastic, they’re happy to get an opportunity to learn about this kind of stuff.”

Thompson said that although the information was useful, the fair was about more than providing facts; it was about providing inspiration.

“We want to give them an idea of what they can do and encourage them to go after that idea,” Thompson said. “That’s what Together We Can is all about.”

Katie Coleman said she hadn’t quite decided on a future job, but she was leaning towards nursing or physical therapy. For her, the fair provided a unique opportunity to meet a real physical therapist, and learn about the career from a first-hand source.

“I actually thought it was pretty cool, he told us what all he got to do, he gets to go to people’s houses and give them physical therapy,” Coleman said. “And he told us what they make.”

Brandie Burks, a Rock Hill Middle School student, isn’t planning on a career she learned about at the fair, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t pick up some useful tips from her finance seminar.

“I learned about how to deal with money and that kind of stuff,” Burks said. “I’m going to be taking cosmetology, and if I want to open up my own shop I’ll have to learn have to do all that stuff.”