Wednesday, January 18 , 2017, 4:23 am | Fair 42º


Partners in Education Volunteer Spotlight: Michelle Hughes

Westmont College professor uses mock interviews as another opportunity to educate kids

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series on Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteers. This article is sponsored by QAD Inc., a Partners in Education President’s Council member.]

Michelle Hughes sees a larger advantage when professionals volunteer in schools. 'Santa Barbara youth are the future,' says the Westmont College assistant education professor. 'We all need to contribute to their development and invest in them as potential leaders.'
Michelle Hughes sees a larger advantage when professionals volunteer in schools. “Santa Barbara youth are the future,” says the Westmont College assistant education professor. “We all need to contribute to their development and invest in them as potential leaders.” (Brad Elliott photo / Westmont College)

Michelle Hughes has been involved in Santa Barbara Partners in Education for years. Her role as Westmont College’s go-to point person for Partners in Education has allowed her to observe firsthand the opportunities available to do volunteer work in the community. Hughes personally connected most with one of these opportunities and is now enthusiastically involved in Partners in Education’s mock job interview program.

“As an assistant professor of Education and teacher of teachers, I am a big advocate for our local schools, for students and for the supportive work that Partners does to connect the community to our local schools,” she said.

Hughes believes that mock interviews are essential for students who will soon be entering the workforce.

“I think mock interviews are very effective,” she explained. “They give students practice interviewing, as well as experience talking about résumés and career goals. Mock interviews also allow for conversation and feedback between the interviewer and interviewee about professional dress and questions to ask in an interview.

“I love to remind students that they should ‘promote themselves’ and give positive examples and stories about volunteer work and past experiences that will apply to potential positions.”

By participating in mock interviews, Hughes hopes to help students realize and eventually achieve their goals.

“It is my hope that I can affirm and support students as they explore internships and potential career goals,” she said. “Through mock interviews, career days and internships supported by Partners in Education, students can often discover what they want to do or don’t want to do in the future.

“Hopefully, when I represent Partners in Education, I can help students get one step closer to their career goals.”

Professionals volunteering in the local school systems is something that Hughes strongly promotes.

“It is rewarding to give back and assist students any way we can,” she said. “I am always energized when I connect with our local high school students. Also, local professionals can usually offer a little advice and wisdom to students that comes with years of work experience.”

Volunteering, in general, is often vital to the health of any community. Hughes believes that volunteering can positively change a community in more ways than one.

“Volunteering is worthwhile since we all need to ‘own’ and participate in the broader Santa Barbara community,” she said. “Santa Barbara youth are the future. We all need to contribute to their development and invest in them as potential leaders.

“As an educator and mom of two young kids, I am grateful to the volunteers in our community who make a difference in my kids’ lives.”

                                                                  •        •        •

» Click here for more information about Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

» Click here for more information on how to become a President’s Council member or contact Michelle Magnusson, development and membership director, at 805.964.4710 x4417 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

» Connect with Partners in Education on Facebook.

— Michaela Ford is a senior at Santa Barbara High School and a Santa Barbara Partners in Education intern through the Partners Job Readiness & Internship Program. Partners in Education programs are administered under the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >