Getting an early start on their career paths
More than 600 eighth-grade students from the region hope to have a better grasp on a career path after attending the 7th Annual Youth Summit Friday at Indiana University Northwest.
The event, presented by IU Northwest’s Occupational Development Program, the Center of Workforce Innovations and the 21st Century Scholars program, invites students to explore their future careers via round table discussions, presentations, seminars and exhibitions from local businesses.
“We’re trying to give them an overall view of what careers there are and what they might be interested in because most of them aren’t thinking about it too much,” said program director and summit chairwoman TJ Stoops. “School counselors tell us this does get them to at least start talking about what’s out there.”
The summit included motivational speaker Chris Bower and a representative from Monster.com, who conducted an interactive presentation on students making a good college a good choice.
Students also learned about options with 21st Century Scholars, a program that allows qualified Indiana sixth-, seventh- or eighth-graders a chance to earn four years of undergraduate tuition at an eligible public or private college or university in the state.
“We want to get them acclimated with the college admissions process as well as get them to think about their future,” 21st Century Scholars student coordinator Konya Crawford said.
Visiting students included Gabrielle, an aspiring photographer and student at River Forest Junior/Senior High School. She said the summit was a way students could discover the right career path.
“It’s awesome,” she said.
Attending the summit with classmates from Scott Middle School in Hammond was Dylan, who hopes to become a professional wrestler. Dylan, whose backup plan is a career in business, hopes to attend Purdue University and liked the summit experience.
“It’s interesting,” he said.
Robert, a student from Hanover Central Middle School, already knows he wants to pursue a career in law enforcement, but felt the summit was “a way to find out more what I want to do in life.”