In its usual thoughtful way, Wheat Ridge High School organized a two-day event where professionals in the community were invited to speak to high school students about their careers, occupations and jobs. All in hopes that it would answer questions, clear the way and help form a path as they studied toward graduating with a plan.
The many industries included engineering, the medical industry and the business world among the many represented professions. The names of the various careers were posted and students were allowed to sign up for the two-hour time slots over two days (Dec. 19 and 20). The sessions took place in different parts of the school. A total of 53 professionals speaking over two days in 73 block sessions to an incredible 146 groups of students. All headed up by Kendra Gothard. Clearly much more than just a math teacher at WRHS.
I was recruited by Jane Johnson (Career Explorer program at WRHS) to speak as a Realtor but knew that the publishing world would come into the picture. I checked in at the security desk and headed to the library where my session would take place. As I walked down the hall in my suit, clearly overdressed for this occasion I noticed other speakers looking around in amazement as it has been years since we last walked through high school hallways.
I was not expecting many students to have an interest in real estate but the seven young faces that sat at my table were clearly interested. A young lady in ninth grade amazingly talked about her plan to have multiple streams of revenue. A 10th grader spoke about his intention of having rental properties as a way not to depend on any specific job to make a living.
This is where the conversation took a turn toward newspapers and ideas for articles they can write. Did high school turn out to be what they thought it would be like? How prepared for high school were they? What did they wish their middle school had done to get them ready for the rigor of high school? It was an amazing conversation. Most of these students were in the Honors program or taking AP classes. I am hoping to hear from them soon and let you read what their answers were. But I can share with you that all loved the friendly environment at Wheat Ridge High and felt challenged, well motivated and enjoyed the culture. Interestingly enough only one student felt adequately prepared for high school. He previously attended Phoenix Horizon. The six that felt ill prepared for high school life, all attended Everitt Middle School. Out of the mouth of babes, I believe the expression goes.
Thank you to Wheat Ridge High, Jane Johnson and of course Kendra Gothard. Excellent two days of helping young adults ask, explore and consider the many career options available to them. Of course it was important to remind every one of them that so many of us are on our second or even third careers. That despite the pressures of making a decision about their future, they do get a “do over” anytime and as many times they want to.
Guy Nahmiach is the Publisher of the Neighborhood Gazette.