Academy career expo gives students hand on career experience - – Rockford’s News Leader

Academy career expo gives Jefferson High students hands on career experience


With the help of the newly integrated academy program at Jefferson High School, students will get a glimpse of their dream job sooner rather than later. And after the academy expo, students see what it would be like to actually work in that profession.

"I learned that I can have, well, as many careers as I want," says Whylder Moore, a junior at Jefferson High School. "Well go on to be whatever I want. Baking, marketing, economy. That sort of thing."

Moore and hundreds of students at Jefferson High School got real, hands on advice from nearly 64 different businesses in the Rockford area, helping to make their academy decision in January, a bit easier.

"We wanted them to be able to make some connections with people who have found their passion, their interest in life, and be able to hear their story and learn about the process that they had to work through to reach their goal," says David Carson, Rockford Public Schools Director of College and Career Readiness.

The new academy system starts this year at Jefferson. Students get to choose one academy out of four, Business, engineering, health, or human relations.

In January, they'll start taking classes geared toward that career.

"It gives them more of an idea of what they can expect, and if they will actually like it or not," says Erica Toledo, a Hydro geologist from Fehr Graham who attended the expo. "Because they can't take classes and then cut back and say they they don't like it. You know, it's a lot easier to get exposure beforehand."

Rockford Public School District plans to expand the academy program to all of the high schools in Fall 2013.

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