St. Louis, Missouri – More than 1,800 students attended the 8th grade Career Fair for Rockwood School District last week at Kemp Auto Museum in Chesterfield. The museum, which donated meeting spaces to the event, prepared career stations encompassing the entire facility from February 27 to March 1, 2013.
The volunteering companies and organizations, which numbered in the three hundreds, were sectioned at long tables, shrined with the tools of their trade: bullet proof police vests, design swatches, video cameras, mannequin heads, medical equipment for patient monitoring, and large plastic moldings that simulated fat.
Kim Litzau, supervisor of Rockwood Partners in Education, organized the program. She said the career fair developed from a shift in curriculum that yearly challenges students to chronicle their career aspirations.
“Our mission is to provide an opportunity for students to explore a variety of careers before they begin their high school experience,” Litzau said.
“We hope students will walk away from the event with some ideas of careers that they might wish to pursue.”
She also hopes students will develop a framework for the high school courses they will need to meet their college and career goals. Litzau and her team recruited professionals of every stripe for the three-day event. These included representatives from every branch of the U.S. military, dieticians, law enforcement agencies, cosmetologists, medical surgeons, law practitioners, corporations such as Edwards Jones and Laclede Gas, architectural firms and many more.
John Finley, a photojournalist with KSDK Channel 5, was on hand Wednesday and Thursday to answer questions. His goal when advising students was to plant a thought they might remember years later.
“Everything from medicine, education, law, even how to do plumbing and carpentry is explored in some form of media,” Finley said.
Some students spoke with veterinarians at the fair, and he told them that was a great choice and that it could easily lead into a journalism career.
“Debbye Turner, the first Show Me St. Louis host, was Miss America, a broadcast journalist and a veterinarian,” Finley said. “It's all a matter of combining your passions with your dreams and realizing there are many paths to a satisfying career.”