That was one message students in grades four through six at Leighton Elementary took away from the school’s second annual career fair. Possible college and career opportunities are abound after high school graduation and the path to get there may begin with an introduction of various employment fields, according to organizer Jessica Leonard.
Also a fourth-grade teacher, Leonard said the event helps expose the older students to more than the expectation that they have to go to college immediately following the end of their Oswego City School District education. Conversations about trade fairs and jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree sparked the interest of students enough to want to hear more about related opportunities from community members who hold those types of jobs.
“I feel that many students aren’t aware enough of the many paths that lead to stable careers and that many fall short because they don’t have the money, resources, support or even simply just an interest in college; they fall into a cycle and don’t feel fulfilled,” Leonard said.
The annual fair changes that for them, she said. Those options, as well as several that require a college degree, were highlighted during the annual fair. Participating people and businesses included: Ed Fayette of Century21, Caitlyn White of Novelis, Christina Dix of Volney Multiplex, Mike Sorendo of the local Boilermakers union, a representative from Chelle’s Bake Shop, Oswego Middle School principal intern Rory Malone, cosmetologist Andrea Cook, registered nurse Chrissy Smith, dental hygienist Erika Lazzaro, Phoenix police department officer Jennifer Bullard, Jen Losurdo of the youth bureau, Army National Guard recruiter John Poyneer and Martha Bruch, a chemist from SUNY Oswego.
Several students, Leonard said, left inspired and driven to succeed beyond the sold educational foundation OCSD has provided them.