I knew I was going to be a teacher when I was a third grade student at Walworth Elementary School. That school year, I had the opportunity to assist a student who had just moved to the United States from her home in Japan. I sat with her every day in the back of the room and helped her with her work. When my teacher, Mrs. Gregory signed my yearbook that year, she wrote that I would make an excellent teacher someday. I’d like to think that I have made her proud.
Not every student is as lucky as I was. While I knew at a young age what I wanted to be when I grew up, many high school students, including seniors, still struggle to decide what they want to do with their lives. At TAGOS we utilize Career Cruising to help students find their path, but we also hold an annual Career Day. We believe it is very important to expose our student population to different types of careers and college options that they may not have considered or even known about. We want students to see the wide variety of options they have, whether it be college, a technical school, the military, an internship, or entering the workforce right away.
Career Day at TAGOS was started last year and was organized by our social work intern, Amanda Jo Serrano, a Parker High School graduate. Amanda Jo did a fabulous job putting this event together. The event was organized to engage students with careers they are already interested in, and introduce them to careers they may not have previously considered. TAGOS serves 7th-12th grade students and we wanted all students to spent time rotating through the sessions, not just our juniors and seniors. It is never too early, or too late to learn about different careers. Our first Career Day was a great success and we decided to make it a yearly event.
This year, Career Day was held on April 25th and was organized by our social work intern, Megan Vincent a Craig High School graduate. Megan did a great job organizing a successful event. We had several presenters attending from a broad range of fields, including: Radio (99.9 WJVL), Cosmetology (Academy of Cosmetology), US Army, Hospice & Nursing (Mercy), Counseling (Mercy), Tattoo Artist (Alkali), Dental Hygienist (Robinson & Prijic), Music Production, Janesville Police Department K-9 Unit, Photography, Janesville Fire Department & EMT, as well as UW-Colleges and Blackhawk Technical College.
This year’s event was a great success, Many students were able to walk away with great information. We received good feedback from students, staff, and presenters. A few comments provided include:
- “I love art and I never thought about using my skills in the tattoo industry. I don’t know whether that is the path for me, but it was interesting to learn about a different type of career using art.”
- “I learned that I can finally fulfill my dream and fly in the military.”
- “I was interested in nursing before, but I had never considered a career as a hospice nurse.”
- “I enjoyed the counseling presentation. I am considering a career in counseling after hearing Mrs. Benash speak.”
- “I’m glad UW-Colleges and BTC were both here. I know I want to go to college, but I’m just not sure where. Hearing them both talk about their available programs will help me make a decision.”
- “This was a great, well organized event. We had very high attendance. Students were engaged, polite, and asked well thought out, pertinent questions. The K-9 Unit was a big hit and the kids were excited to pet Fred the dog.”
In addition to our outstanding presenters, we are thankful for the food donated by Kwik Trip, Texas Roadhouse, and Mac’s Pizza Shack. Through their generosity, we were able to have breakfast and lunch available for all of our volunteer presenters.We hope to continue the Career Day event at TAGOS in years to come, adding many more careers and participants for students to learn about.