(February 4th, 2020–Jersey City, NJ) Over 50 industry professionals and Hudson County Schools of Technology high school majors joined the students, faculty, staff, and community members for the second annual Career Day at Explore Middle School.
Professionals in fields ranging from environmental engineering, journalism, social work, public relations, cosmetology, architecture, and much more spent the morning at Explore. HCST majors include High Tech High School’s D|Fab,
Culinary Arts, Performing Arts, BioMedical and Environmental Science majors; additionally, County Prep’s Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Video Production, and Fashion & Design majors.
The day included professionals and HCST high school majors at booths that students spent time visiting by engaging in conversation and participating in hands-on activities. Professionals filled their booths with equipment relevant to their fields, videos on display, and informational material for students to take.
The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office brought their K-9 officers to visit with students, Officer Alberto Cotto from the Jersey City Police Department shared safety materials with the students and Jersey City Firefighter Kevin Hennessey explained the importance of the gear he wears.
James MacDiarmid from Curiious came equipped with virtual reality headsets for students and visitors to play games focused on social-emotional learning. Kelly Chiesa from the Secaucus salon Dina’s Kiss and Makeup showed students how to braid hair and create other styles on mannequins. Jonathan R L Grosso was accompanied by Axol, a plush toy axolotl, from Grosso’s sustainable and ethical company Axol and Friends that showcases endangered species and raises funds for youth empowerment programs around the ground.
Other organizations and companies in attendance included CBS News, the Hudson County Prosecutors Office, Team VR & Tailored Menus, Hudson County Community College, North Hudson Community Action Corporation, Santomauro General Contracting, Resilience Adventures, Remington Verrick, Hudson County Division of Planning, Structure Tone, BASF, Barnard College, Columbia University, CSAGroup, I Deserve Project, Golden Door Film Festival, Dvine Koneiktion, Donohue, Gironda Doria & Tomkins, LLC, Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC, and Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC, and Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC and VFW Post 2294.
“It was a very powerful moment to walk into the gym and see the students confidently speaking with all of the professionals at their booths. The students would excitedly come by to tell me about someone they spoke to and something they learned. We have so many great celebrations at Explore, but Career Day is definitely my favorite,” teacher, Ms. Justine Franco, said.
On his way out Steve Vinces, professional photographer and owner of Sage Studios Photography, shared, “I could see the stars in some of the kids’ eyes as we talked. They were genuinely passionate about photography. It was a pretty wonderful feeling. I’m coming back next year!”
All of the high school majors provided hands-on activities for the students or brought their work to display. The High Tech Culinary majors showed students how to ice mini cupcakes and helped them practice the technique. The County Prep Video Production majors allowed students to try out different cameras and equipment and screened their work. The County Prep Fashion and Design majors and High Tech D|Fab Wood Technology and Industrial Design majors had a variety of their work on display and proudly discussed their experiences in their majors.
Supervisor Jamie Velazquez explained, “As a CTE middle school, it’s extremely beneficial for our students to be exposed to the variety of different majors that both High Tech and County Prep has to offer. It’s great to see the high schoolers showing off all of their hard work. Middle school students need to understand the educational background and training they will need to obtain a career of their dreams in the future.”
The students were also given the opportunity to choose 2 of 12 presentations to see during the day. The presenters were professionals in fields ranging from scientific research, education, event planning, journalism and more.
The presenters included Chelsea Ramos, NJ Department of Transit, Kim Correro Senior Publicist, Nancy Seltzer & Assoc., David Drumeler, Deputy County Administrator, Kate Rogers reporter, CNBC, Tine Pahl Research Assistant, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Elsie Jiminez Psycho-Therapist, Center for Holistic Intervention, Marion Gomez, Worldstrides/NBA Event Production, Donald Bonomo Lawyer, Law Office of Perez & Bonomo, Pinar Babiker Senior Job Captain, RSC Architects, Dennis Febo CEO, Guazabara Insights LLC, Peter Mielach, Eastern Millwork Holz Technik Apprentice Program, and Jim Hague Sportswriter, Associated Press, Hudson Reporter, Kearny Observer.
“Ms. Jiminez’s presentation was awesome. The games she had us play were a lot of fun. She gave us great advice about how to handle things in life. I enjoyed the conversations she had with us and my friends and I were still talking about her presentation after we left, “8th grader Sarosh Aboobaker.
The day ended with a performance by the High Tech dance majors and a luncheon for the guests and Hudson County Schools of Technology community members.
Principal Allyson Krone shared the primary sentiment behind the day’s activities, “One of the most important aspects of career and technical education is to drive
home that interest drives learning; the students’ passion should take them on an educational and career path so that they love what they do.”
To learn more about Explore’s Career Day celebration, visit HudsonTV.com: hudsontv.com/getting-a-jump-on-their-careers-at-explore-middle-school/