Each semester, KidsTek plans a field trip for our high school students that can range from touring a data center facility to visiting a college campus. Last week, for our fall trip, our Denver Public Schools students from North High School and Florence Crittenton High School had a special opportunity to participate in a “Career Day” event downtown where they practiced key career skills with professionals.
Both schools host a KidsTek Business Computing class taught by Emily Tow, our Senior Instructor, who uses project-based learning techniques to prepare students to earn Microsoft Office Specialist certifications. At the end of each week, Emily switches up the curriculum for “Soft Skills Fridays” by inviting in local speakers to share their career paths, or by focusing on career-readiness activities like creating resumes. The students’ hard work on these Fridays was put to use at Career Day as the students interacted with our guests from the business community.
Career Day was comprised of multiple activities to get the students and adult volunteers actively engaged, while also learning how these small connections could make a big difference in their careers. The morning started with Networking BINGO, where participants “networked” around the room, finding others with specific interests that may or may not match with their own. After sparking some great conversations, the adult volunteers were each paired with a student to provide resume feedback and career advice. Casey McCoy-Simmons, KidsTek Program Specialist, concluded the day by facilitating a panel discussion with the day’s guests.
“The day was a whirlwind of fun, as the event we’ve been planning for months finally came to fruition,” Casey said. “The greatest moment of the day for me was on the drive back to North High School, when one of the students said, ‘Miss, I had a lot of fun today. I learned so much!’ Which caused the other three students to nod enthusiastically and share their favorite parts of the day. What is a better feeling than that?”
A huge thank you to Slalom Consulting for providing a flexible and beautiful space to host our event as well as lunch and snacks to keep the students happy throughout the day. The event wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing volunteers: an extra special thanks to Micki Nelson, Richard Liner, Nestor Rizo-Patron, and Ellis Blevins for providing your candid interview stories and insightful career advice to our group of future leaders.
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