On Thursday Nov. 18, eighth grade students flocked to the gym at Dawson County Junior High School to participate in Career Exploration Day and learn more about the potential career paths available for them in the county.
Businesses from across the county, ranging from realtors to medical organizations and everything in between, set up booths to tell the students about what they do and the careers they offer. Students circulated from table to table, learning about the businesses and collecting information on jobs.
In addition to learning about each business, students were given a bingo card to complete as they circulated, ensuring that they stopped at each booth.
Among the businesses set up at the event was The Place of Dawson County, a nonprofit aimed at assisting local families with their essential needs and helping them to be self-sustaining. Amy Palmer, Outreach Coordinator for The Place of Dawson County, said that the event was a great opportunity for her to not just tell students about her organization but to offer information to anyone who may need a little extra help.
“It’s cool cause some of the kids are just learning about what a nonprofit is, but I’m also giving information out about our services in case families need services,” Palmer said. “So it’s a good way to try to get that out there.”
The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce was also set up at the event, teaching students about tourism in the county. Savannah Garrick, membership director for the chamber, said that the variety of careers represented is a great way for students to learn about all the community has to offer.
“We’re here doing tourism today, but then there’s realtors, mortgage, construction — so it’s really cool for students to get to see all aspects of the community,” Garrick said.
In addition to the local businesses, several of the school’s student clubs had booths set up, aimed at getting their club’s name out to the other students who may be interested in joining. One of the student booths set up was for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), which is a club aimed at teaching students how to become leaders in all aspects of their potential careers.
“FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America, so essentially we just train kids on how to be business leaders, marketers and entrepreneurs,” student and FBLA member Alysa Reeves said. “It’s really fun; we have a great time.”
Having the opportunity to teach fellow students about clubs like FBLA is incredibly valuable to the clubs when it comes to recruiting new members, student and FBLA member Zach Friday said.
“We only have around 20 or 30 students in our club, so it would be cool to have more,” Friday said.
Throughout Career Exploration Day, dozens of students came through the event to learn about the represented businesses and clubs. According to Amy Smith, CTAE Director at the Dawson County College and Career Academy, events like the career day are aimed at not only helping students learn what they may be interested in pursuing as a career, but also at teaching students what career opportunities are available right in their own county.
“We were just so excited about this opportunity — one of the things that we really strive to do in the CCA is bring back workforce into Dawson so that not everybody is leaving,” Smith said. “We want people to come back to work in Dawson, so to me starting even at this age allows them to see opportunities that they might not even know exist here.”