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Herkimer BOCES School To Careers program helps launch
Central Valley students on ‘Journeys Beyond Jarvis’

Oct. 4, 2016




Shown above, a video slideshow from Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day.



MOHAWK – More than 700 Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School students learned about job opportunities from local professionals during the Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day put on by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES School To Careers program on Friday, Sept. 30, at Jarvis.

More than 40 presenters representing the 16 career clusters attended to speak with Central Valley students in grades 5-8. The students were assigned five sessions based on STC career interest surveys they took prior to the event.

Central Valley Superintendent Richard Hughes was impressed that the event captured the middle-schoolers’ enthusiasm enough to generate ongoing conversations among students about their experience on a Friday, when they could easily be talking about the weekend or anything else.

“You can tell the kids are interested if they’re walking down the hallway after a session and they’re still talking about it,” Hughes said.

The Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day essentially featured two career days – one for grades 5-6 and one for grades 7-8 – taking place at the same time in the same place. In addition to the five sessions with local professionals, students participated in welcoming assemblies and a reflection period at the end of the day in their advisory classrooms.

The presenters covered all 16 career clusters with occupations including an aerospace engineer, firefighters, election commissioners, an author, a veterinarian, a physical therapist and many more.

School To Careers would like to thank all of the volunteers, and STC is always looking for more business partners. Any local businesses or professionals interested in partnering with STC, may contact Janelle D’Aoust, STC educational specialist, at 315-867-2216 or jdaoust@herkimer-boces.org.

Students from the Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School at Herkimer BOCES also were among the presenters. The VP-TECH students told Jarvis students what VP-TECH is like and about some of the technology they get to use.

Brooke Newtown, a second-year VP-TECH student from Central Valley, said that when she first joined, she never would have thought she would enjoy presenting about VP-TECH.

“Now, I love going places and talking about it,” she said. “It’s really cool to see how excited the kids get.”

During the career day, Brooke showed Central Valley fifth-grader Tyler Izzo how to use littleBits kits, which are like electrical circuits.

“I always like technology, and I love playing around with it and seeing what I can do with it,” Tyler said. “I think it’s cool.”

School To Careers

MaryBeth Napolitano, School To Careers liaison and work-based learning coordinator, introduced students to the 16 career clusters during one of the welcoming assemblies and asked them what they thought the day was about.

“Today is about learning – learning about careers,” she said. “Today is about learning about yourself.”

During a later interview, Napolitano said the event meets STC goals of exposing students to careers and continuing to fill the native pipeline.

“It starts that conversation about careers,” she said. “It also builds awareness not just of the 16 career clusters but also exposes students to what we have right here in the wonderful Mohawk Valley.”

STC also provided feedback forms, so students could share their thoughts on the presenters and the overall event. Feedback all around has been positive, D’Aoust said.

“I thought that it went really well,” D’Aoust said.

STC has increased its focus on middle school students this school year based on feedback from Herkimer BOCES component school districts, STC Director Christopher Groves said.

“This is early intervention in terms of career planning and education,” he said, noting that the goal is to change the conversation at the dinner table to more talk about career interests. “We provided exposure and hands-on experience to middle school students as they continued to think about their life journey.”

The event was reliant on dynamic presenters who were able to reach a variety of ages and interests, Groves said. The career interest surveys helped STC select presenters – including adding extra presenters in fields where interest was particularly high – so students were able to meet local professionals doing jobs that interest the students.

“Despite the size of it, this was really tailored uniquely to them,” Groves said.

Impactful presenters

Debora Van Slyke, director of curriculum and instruction at Central Valley Academy, asked students in one of her sessions to turn to someone near them and discuss something they’ve taught to another person. Afterward, she asked who learned more during those experiences, pointing out that sometimes a teacher learns even more than the person being taught.

“So if you like to learn a lot, teaching is a great career to do that,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jim McCoy, of Indium Corp., was explaining to students that parts for video game systems are made right at Indium Corp., and he showed them pieces of nearly pure metal used for various products.

“That’s why your electronics are expensive because we use expensive stuff to make them,” McCoy said.

McCoy also passed around indium, the metal the company is named after, and allowed students to bend it. He showed a product called NanoFoil, which is 700,000 layers of metal, each one atom thick, so that the NanoFoil is thinner than a piece of paper. He demonstrated that the NanoFoil can bond instantly with a charge and go from 1,500 degrees Celsius to cool within seconds.

McCoy also explained that Indium Corp. offers a variety of jobs – with some available right out of high school and others requiring an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate or even more years of school.

Utica Zoo Executive Director Andria Heath spoke to students about her job and other jobs at the zoo, and she shared the zoo’s message.

“Animals and people can live together safely and harmoniously,” she said. “That message is for the whole world.”

Alyssa Napolitano, founder and executive director of Resume Rescue, taught students about marketing. She had students look at various event flyers and try to determine “who, what, when, where and why” about events within 10 seconds, and she discussed with students which flyers were easier to read.

She also talked to students about word-of-mouth advertising, social media and more. At the end of the session, she had students get in small groups and come up with their own plans for how they would market a career day.

Herkimer Police Department Officer Richard Bowman told students that he became a police officer because he loves action. He talked about the whole process of becoming a police officer including the police academy, field training and more.

Bowman asked students what they think is the main objective of a police officer and then shared his thoughts.

“Make sure you’re protecting people and their property,” he said.

Bowman explained police duties such as patrol, traffic accidents, emergency medical calls, traffic control and special duties. He does accident reconstruction and is a sniper for the Special Response Team (SRT).

“There’s all types of different jobs you can do once you get in it,” he said.

Bowman also expressed the importance of not taking people’s actions personally when trying to resolve a situation.

“Patience is a virtue, as they say,” he said. “People are going to test you to your limits. You’re going to see people at their worst.”

Tom Zalocha, of the Plumbers and Pipefitters union, spoke about jobs in his field.

“It’s rewarding,” he said. “I got into it because I like working outside.”

Zalocha talked about working on piping systems at various locations such as hospitals and nuclear facilities.

“I like doing something different every day,” he said. “You’re never in the same place very long. You’re always moving to different jobs.”



A VP-TECH student shows a Jarvis student how to use littleBits kits
Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School student Brooke Newtown shows Central Valley fifth-grader Tyler Izzo how to use littleBits kits during the Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day put on by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES School To Careers program on Friday, Sept. 30, at Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School.


Jim McCoy of Indium Corp. talks to Central Valley students
Jim McCoy of Indium Corp. speaks to Central Valley students during the Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day put on by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES School To Careers program on Friday, Sept. 30, at Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School.


Central Valley students speak in groups about a time they taught another person something
Central Valley students speak in groups about a time they taught something to another person, during a session hosted by Central Valley Academy Director of Curriculum and Instruction Debora Van Slyke at the Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day put on by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES School To Careers program on Friday, Sept. 30, at Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School.


Herkimer police officer talks to Central Valley students
Herkimer Police Department Officer Richard Bowman speaks to Central Valley students during the Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day put on by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES School To Careers program on Friday, Sept. 30, at Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School.


The local professionals who were presenters during Jarvis career day
Local professionals who spoke with Central Valley middle school students during the Journeys Beyond Jarvis Career Exploration Day put on by the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES School To Careers program on Friday, Sept. 30, at Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School pose for a group photo after the event.






 
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