Sixty-eight students from the William S. Hart Union High School District joined district staff and local business men and women to discuss college and career readiness at a mentor dinner Wednesday night.
The dinner, held at the Hart School District Annex, was presented by the district’s Career and College Readiness Department to highlight Career Technical Education (CTE) Month and students involved in the district’s career pathways program.
“We wanted to celebrate all of our outstanding students and give them an opportunity to develop further in career pathways,” said Dr. Mariane Doyle, the district’s Career Technical Educator administrator.
The event was designed to provide students with real-world advice for entering a career path, in addition to experience in a business setting, like a dinner.
“Being able to carry on a conversation in a business setting is critical skill,” Doyle said. “Students need to have post-secondary education as well as employable skills.”
Students from all of the Hart District’s high schools were selected for the dinner based on their grades, attendance and motivation toward their chosen career path.
They were seated at one of eight tables based on their career path with mentors from the industry sectors of IT, Art/Media/Entertainment, Engineering, Marketing, Technology, Business and Finance, Transportation and Health Sciences.
Attendees were then given an etiquette class by Hart Governing Board Member Linda Storli before eating a dinner prepared by students in the district’s Culinary Arts program and speaking with community business leaders.
“It’s a true collaboration between the city and us,” Doyle said.
Jimmy Lifton, president of Lifton Institute of Media Arts and Sciences (LIMS), said he volunteered to participate in the mentor dinner to help students find their own direction and make the right choices for their careers.
“Our whole focus is helping people turn skills into jobs in the movie industry so this fit perfectly with our mission,” he said.
David Reeves, owner of Reeves Complete Auto Center Inc., said he enjoys giving advice to students about his career industry.
“I do a lot of community stuff like this,” he said. “I tell kids that you have to enjoy it [the transportation industry] and be all in and have that commitment.”
Students involved in the program noted that the district’s Career and College Readiness program has taught them to socialize in a business setting, develop career-based skills and think logically.
“We now have a head start in the industry,” said Kaitlyn Sanchez, a Hart High School senior involved in the health sciences career pathways program who hopes to be a nurse oncologist.
Saugus High School senior Abagail Fishler, who is involved in the health sciences career readiness program, said the program has also given her a jump start into her career as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
Senior Danielle Villa-Agustin said she chose to pursue the IT career pathways program because of the translatable skills of computer science.
“It’s just something I saw a lot of opportunity in the career,” she said. “I can apply the skills in to other things.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_