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Career Day Helps Students Explore Possibilities

career day presenters April 16, 2021 – This year’s Career Day may have been a bit different due to COVID-19, but there was no shortage of connection.

Career Day has been an annual fixture at Ackerman School since 2017. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the event on April 16 was virtual, with presenters participating via Zoom and the event live-streamed on SSD’s YouTube channel for student and teacher access. Organizers took the opportunity to use the virtual format to expand participation to students at Litzsinger School. The session was also recorded so that students who were unable to attend could watch later. 

Bridget Thomas, school counselor at Ackerman, said she started the Career Day event to provide an opportunity for all students to increase their career awareness.

“We have partnered with North Tech students as well as numerous members of the community who volunteer their time to share their chosen career,” Thomas said. “It is a very educational and exciting day for everyone!”

Students in grades K-8 heard from professionals in fields including construction, culinary arts, healthcare, law enforcement, information technology, and cosmetology. They talked about what led them to their current career, what their typical work day is like, and the education, experience, and skills that would help someone be successful in their occupation.

Alexa Carroll, a network engineer with SSD’s Technology Services department, shared with students how her time as a student in the CISCO Networking program at SSD’s North Technical High School helped her learn more about and prepare her to work in the information technology field. She also worked as a summer intern with SSD before being hired in her current role.

“I was able to get a taste of what it was like to work in the real world during that summer program,” Carroll said.

Melissa Maness, culinary arts instructor at SSD’s South Technical High School, talked about the variety of positions in the culinary industry – everything from cooking in kitchens to food photography.

“The cool thing about our industry is that there are so many opportunities,” Maness said, noting that she’s seen many culinary professionals work their way up from entry-level roles to management positions.

Thank you to all of this year’s Career Day presenters:

  • RJ Catizon – Outreach Specialist for St. Louis Carpenters Apprenticeship Program
  • Melissa Maness – Culinary Arts Instructor at South Technical High School
  • Amy Hanson– Nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital
  • Bailey Forbes – School Resource Officer, Ackerman School
  • Alexa Carroll – Network Engineer, SSD Technology Services
  • Ebony Tapley – Great Clips