As five Mineral County High School students and their advisor, Lyndsey Burell, entered a chartered bus for the JAG (Jobs for American Graduates) Career Development Conference in Las Vegas, the excitement and preparation was evident.
“This was truly a big deal, not only for our students to attend this conference but also to participate, as our students brought their own presentations to this professional event,” Burell explained.
JAG had assisted with prior appropriate clothing options as needed and with the preparation of all costs involved, so Nevada students could experience a wider career environment. Burell shared that the entire trip was full of options and opportunities. At the Texas Station facilities, Goodwill had partnered with the event by providing racks of proper interviewing outfits. From proper shoes to men’s dress coats and lady’s business attire, all items were available for the students to take home.
Raynee Knight and Emmalee Going were involved in a mock interview and application process session, while Jared Dore pitched his own entrepreneurial idea of creating a solar, battery-charged phone case to professional business people, as the popular show, Shark Tank. Devon Davis worked on a problem solving and solution workshop, while McKenna Cardenas gave a moving speech around the conference’s theme, “Chasing the Dream.”
Explaining that dreams change and evolve, Cardenas shared that she had personally observed medical personnel assisting her own mother during a medical crisis, which showed her that staff were “there for the patient and not for themselves”. Her goals changed from once wanting to be a cosmetologist, to the desire of becoming a nurse.
Cardenas stated that she was in her second-year career course in Health Science, learning the basics of first aid and becoming certified in CPR, with her first job being a life guard at the community pool. “Once I complete my third-year, I will be a licensed EMT (Emergency Medical Tech). Everyone has a dream – but when you find your ultimate dream you learn it and you love it.”
Art pieces, from metal to sketches and paintings, were also on display to show forth the symbolic theme within the conference. While expressing the talented emotion of many students attending, this hallway gallery presented other ways of garnered career’s which were being focused upon by others in attendance.
“They even covered social media and how Facebook gives social clues to an employer. When you are choosing your career pathway, you need to focus on every aspect of your decision-making processes. They covered so much of that here,” Burell stated. Sessions varied in subject matter and focused on many intricate portions of employment and the career decisions students will need to make in their near future.