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When I grow up, I want to be a …


At Columbia Middle School’s Career Fair in early May, current and future students in CMS’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program learned about a range of careers from nursing, to social work, to law.

In the weeks leading up to the career fair, current AVID students identified careers they wanted to explore, made nameplates for each of the participating professionals, and wrote questions to ask them.

During the fair, students visited different professionals at their tables, asked questions, and looked at their displays. Seventh-grade students acted as facilitators during each rotation.

“It was a great experience and I really appreciate the effort of [the professionals] taking time out of their day to be at CMS,” said Charlin, an eighth-grader.

Reflecting the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley, three small-business professionals — Steve Redecki, a publisher; Anthony Baker, proprietor of a Jiu-Jitsu studio; and Kerry Goddard, a photographer — came to share their insights with students. Among the questions students had for small-business owners: How do you publicize your business? What do you do to make your small business profitable?

Students also asked many of the professionals when or how they knew they wanted to work in their chosen field. Since preparing for college is a focus of the AVID program, students also asked if coursework was interesting and if it was easy to find a job after graduation.

School was also on students’ minds when talking to one of the presenters, medical student Thu Dam. Besides asking the future doctor if she was grossed out by seeing bodily fluids, students asked her how hard it was to commit to all the years of school required to become a doctor and how long her classes were.

“It was really interesting learning about their profession and it definitely opened up an option in professions that I would want to do,” said Jessica Camarillo, seventh grade.

Thank you to all the community members who participated in the CMS career fair: Alysyn Martinez, Monica Moon, Coral Cox, Gurjit Gill, Dyan Chan and our own SSD Communications Coordinator Alia Wilson, and Laura Villanueva, in addition to Redecki, Baker, Goddard and Dam.

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