By AMANDA ARNOLD
What do you want to be when you grow up?
That’s a big question that sits on the minds of many young people, and it’s often the question they hear from many of the grownups in their lives. However, it’s not always a question that all youth can answer.
During the Career/College Day that was held at Jeffersonville High School on Tuesday, students may have walked away with some answers.
“I’m here checking out the displays and I’m looking out for my sons for work and their careers. They don’t know what they want to do. They know what they don’t like, but not what to go into,” Scott Fertig said about his evening at the Career/ College Day.
The event hosted 50 colleges, plus the Jeffersonville Police Department, Jeffersonville Fire Department, all military branches and company representatives offering information about vocational positions. The total number was about 75.
“They are learning different things about the colleges. They are interested in everything, different locations and trying different things,” said Jeffersonville High School counselor Barb Trouy.
Lacey Solomon is a junior this year, and she explained that she is striving to be a nurse, which involves participating in nursing programs at Norton Healthcare, and she is learning about her options in education.
“I’m hoping to learn about a good college and the cost, and more information on what to do,” said Solomon.
She admitted that preparing for college can be scary, especially considering the cost.
Junior La-Toya Bailey echoed the same concerns.
“I’m looking over my options and planning for the next year. Being on my own and planning for college is a big responsibility but I’ll manage,” said Bailey.
Trouy said the worries for the young people are similar to those in past years.
“They have concerns about the qualifications needed and scholarships that are available, and also what to major in,” said Trouy.
The key is to be prepared, and to start planning early.
“Our younger students need to know now what they need to do to be well-prepared. We are teaching them what they need to do now and through high school. So they know what they need down the road,” said counselor Steven Churchman.
One suggestion for some students may be to take a rigorous course schedule and research different careers and requirements.
Churchman stresses the importance of preparing early because “it’s too late when they are a senior.”
Mark Krieg, a marketing associate at ISM College Planning, attended the event to help the students and parents learn about financing higher education.
“We like to talk to students about the year they are going to school and what they are doing with planning and research,” he said. “Scholarships are key to paying for college. There are more options on the front end, instead of after graduating.”
There were several colleges present, including Indiana University Southeast, University of Louisville, Campbellsville University and Spalding University.
For students more interested in entering a vocational field upon graduating, several companies were present.
Cindy Burns, human resources director at Bruce Fox Inc., explained options for those interested in an artist track, and producing handmade recognition awards may be the perfect fit. Atlas Machine & Supply Inc. was present to tell students about the apprenticeship program in which Atlas pays for the student’s schooling if grades are kept at a certain level. Steve Wallace, of S&J Precision, Inc. also shared success of working a trade.
“We’re here to get kids interested in a trade, such as machinist. I’ve never been out of a job and it pays really good money. There are lots of jobs because there is a severe shortage in machinists,” said Wallace.
One Southern Indiana was also present to share the resources available at their office and with JAG, Jobs for American Graduates.
The Career/College Day was part of College Go Week.