Approximately 160 sophomores from around the area attended the 10th Grade Career Expo at Spoon River College in Canton on November 12, where 35 professionals representing a range of career fields from art to wildlife found interactive and engaging ways of capturing the students’ attention while providing an overview of the work involved in their professions.
It worked well, and students queued up to learn how to perform an intubation, pitch a business idea to get a bank loan, try their skill at welding, solve the logistical puzzle of moving products, and more.
The goal was to not only show students the wide range of career fields available to them, but to also allow them the opportunity to see what they are drawn to. “Just being able to see all the different careers allowed me to think thoroughly about what I want to do,” said one student, while another said she had learned a lot. “It opened my eyes to what I like. All of the stations had different impacts.”
That’s exactly the feedback SRC advisor Brandi Ketcham, who organizes the event, wants to hear. “Events like the 10th Grade Career Expo are so beneficial to area students. Even as sophomores, many are still undecided about what they want to do after high school. SRC wants to give the students an opportunity to explore different careers to give them a better sense of reality and help them prepare for a future once they graduate.”
Businesses represented at the expo were Advanced Rehab, Camp Big Sky, Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, Canton Police Department, Carl Sandburg (Dental Hygiene & Medical Imaging), Carthage Veterinary Service, Cook Medical, Fulton County EMA, Fulton County Farm Bureau, Fulton-Mason Crisis Service, Graham Health Services (Lab, Marketing, Medical, and Pharmacy), Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Life and Leadership Coach-Barb Claxton, Martin Tractor/John Deere, Maurer-Stutz, MidAmerica National Bank, Spoon River College (Art, Agriculture, Computer Information Systems, Diesel & Power Systems Technology, Health Information Management, Logistics, Nursing, Welding), Spoon River Media, WIU (Head of Movement and Stage Combat, Speech Language Pathology), and the YWCA (Childcare).
Students attended from Astoria, Canton, Cuba, Lewistown, and Spoon River Valley high schools. Pictures of the event can be viewed on the Spoon River College Facebook page.