Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster ISD
About 40 professionals united at the Elsie Robertson Lancaster STEM Middle School (LMS) to highlight possible professional paths during the 2013 annual Career Day, themed “Preparing to Reap the Harvest.”
After brief introductions, 30 student ambassadors paired off to greet and escort guests to their presentation rooms filled with eighth grade students. Entrepreneurs and career professionals from the healthcare, public safety, law enforcement, engineering, sales and marketing and education industries shared first-hand knowledge, practical career information and inspired the students with details of their journeys to success.
Northwood University Library Director Kaethyrn Duncan, was overjoyed as she reflected on her first-time experience at the LMS Career Day.
“It was wonderful and the kids were engaged, listening and asked great questions,” she said. “They showed a lot of interest and there was a lot of give and take. I hope they ask me come back next year.”
Eighth grade students heard from Lancaster’s first African-American female Chief of Police, Cheryl Wilson, who shared her story and offered life wisdom along with Chanell Bacon of Hilton Hotels Sales & Catering, the Lancaster Fire Department, Doug Hunt of Access Self Storage, Patricia Coleman, a banker and a member of Leadership Southwest, Kenneth Govan of Oncor, representatives from Costco and the University of Phoenix, among others.
Takoya Mandigo, eighth grade counselor and Career Day coordinator, explained the value of this program.
“It is important because it is another way to expose our students to life beyond high school and allows them to be exposed to other careers, instead of the ones that we often hear about.”
Mane A’Traksion Hair Studio owner, Renee’ Bennett inspired students with her up and down journey of perseverance and encouraged them to fulfill their dream.
“This is my motto that I live by: The only one who can stop it is you.”
Eighth graders had the opportunity to hear from two professionals for an entire class period.
Yolanda Conner, a registered nurse, engaged students with her interactive, hands-on presentation on CPR and basic life-saving and nursing techniques. Students in her sessions actually learned to identify someone in distress and how to perform CPR on adults and babies.
“I wish it was longer because the kids were not ready to stop,” she said.
Ms. Mandigo and her team are now making plans for the spring Career Week and Texas Scholars events. Both are dedicated to making the path for a successful future more clear for middle school students in Lancaster ISD.