The Event Kicked-Off the Beginning of Career and Technical Education Month
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Explore Middle School hosted its annual Career Day on Friday with over 50 industry professionals and Hudson County Schools of Technology high school majors. Students from High Tech High School’s D|Fab, Culinary Arts, Performing Arts, Media Arts, BioMedical and Environmental Science majors as well as County Prep’s Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Video Production, and Fashion and Design majors were in attendance.
“Career Day at Explore Middle School has always been a collaborative effort between our high school students, community partners and even those who have graduated from the Hudson County Schools of Technology,” said Superintendent Amy Lin-Rodriguez. “By introducing students to the workfield at a younger age, we are providing them with a unique opportunity to begin learning firsthand about the career paths they may choose to pursue.”
Michelle Rodriguez, a 2008 graduate of Explore 2000 and 2012 graduate of High Tech High School, was among the industry professionals to attend the event. As an accountant with the firm Donohue, Gironda, Doria and Tomkins, Rodriguez said her experiences as a student at Hudson County Schools of Technology helped mold her into her career. She was excited to be back at her alma mater to speak with students who could be the next generation accountants in the community.
“I preferred the hands on learning, learning by doing, and that’s what attracted me to Hudson County Schools of Technology,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what helped me to learn what I could do with math. At High Tech, my teachers encouraged me to consider accounting as a career path and it definitely molded me as a person and it was a very big part of who I am.”
Other organizations in attendance included the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, representatives from the Jersey City Police and Fire Departments, the Hudson County Improvement Authority, Hudson County Community College, Easten Millwork Inc., CBS News, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Team VR & Tailored Menus, North Hudson Community Action Corporation, Santomauro General Contracting, Resilience Adventures, Remington Verrick, the Hudson County Division of Planning, Structure Tone, BASF, Barnard College, Columbia University, CSAGroup, I Deserve Project, Golden Door Film Festival, Dvine Koneiktion, Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC, and VFW Post 2294.
Sibel Gitonga, a seventh grade student from Jersey City, said she enjoyed meeting with professionals from all different backgrounds because she will need to start applying for high schools soon, which will then turn into college visits.
“It’s really important and I’m really glad that we have it,” Sibel said. “There are also some vendors that I saw that are really cool. There were a lot of cosmetologists and vets and it’s cool to see all the spectrums of careers.”
“Our annual Career Day brought together dozens of professionals to introduce our students to new work fields and professions,” said Explore Middle School Principal Allyson Krone. “One of the most important aspects of career and technical education is to drive home that interest drives learning; their passion should take them on an educational and career path so that they love what they do.We are so grateful to the professionals, alumni and parents who took time out of their busy schedules to share their knowledge and experiences with our students.”