High school students explored a slew of job possibilities at a career fair that featured more than 60 local businesses.
The three-hour event took place March 27 at the Ernest Righetti High School gym. About 1,000 students participated.
The fair was initiated by the school's Parent Teacher Student Association and organized by the North County Volunteer Corps, a joint venture between the Santa Barbara County Education Office and the Santa Maria YMCA.
Students roamed the booths where employers and professionals were ready to discuss what it takes to land, work and keep a job in particular fields. They spoke to engineers, actors and designers and had candid and honest interactions with law enforcement and emergency officials. Many also gave welding and CPR a try. Seventy-six volunteers staffed the fair.
Sophomore August George spoke with Foodbank workers and now is a volunteer.
"When I saw the booth, I remembered that I always wanted to get involved with the Foodbank but didn't know how,'' George said. "They told me to write down my email if I was interested in volunteering. A few days later, I got a list of activities I could volunteer for. If I hadn't gone to the career fair, I would not have the opportunity.''
Career specialist Vicki Dirkes believes the fair engaged many students and got them thinking about the future.
"It is through this community effort that our students are inspired to try harder and reach higher and higher,'' Dirkes said. "We are grateful for the support and humbled by the willingness of people to donate their time and expertise.''
— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.