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Students Learn Importance of Connection at Java Jam

 Business representative talks with a South Tech student.

February 23, 2024 - Over a dozen representatives from organizations and businesses across St. Louis County participated in the biannual Java Jam at South Tech. Initiated in 2018, the Java Jam brings together students in need of mentorship for their small businesses and accomplished professionals who are eager to share their knowledge. This is all done while enjoying snacks, hot chocolate, and of course, a good old-fashioned cup of java. 

“Whether a student is starting a business or figuring out the next step in their career, I want them to know that we all need help in different ways,” said Albie Mitchell, design and entrepreneurship instructor. “This event allows students to network in a supportive and nurturing environment. You never know who you will meet or what doors that encounter may open for you.”

This year, students from CISCO Networking, Web & Computer Programming, and Design and Entrepreneurship participated. They networked with people representing organizations such as World Wide Technology, Missouri AfterSchool Network, Delta Dental of Missouri, CannonDesign, and St. Louis County Library

“I work in the small business department, so entrepreneurs is one of the populations we serve,” said Regina Crandall, St. Louis County Library small business and employment resources librarian. “That’s why we wanted to come. We want to help students learn more about their business niche and help them manage and grow it. At any time, they can book a librarian who can help them with anything they need to know about advancing their career.”  

Nico Rugani, senior Web & Computer Programming student, plans to attend a four-year university after high school and eventually get a job in software development. He decided to attend to get tips on how to make the most of his time as a young adult entering the professional world. 

“There are a lot of people here outside of my field, so it’s cool that I’m able to get different perspectives on IT and business in general,” said Rugani. “I value the expertise that a lot of the individuals here have.” 

The biggest takeaway that Mitchell says he wanted students to grasp from the Java Jam is the importance of connection. The next event will take place in fall 2024.