Recently nine students, who participated in Exploration Academy 2014, visited three local service clubs who sponsored the event.  The students expressed gratitude for the service clubs financial contribution for the program, as well as shared the value they each received from the event. 

Three students who chose to speak to the Minster Service Club, met with the members during a noon meeting.  Taylor, of Minster Schools, told the audience that her schedule was made up of a wide range of interest and she was able to cross a few off for future consideration.  She really liked hearing directly from the professionals and the recommendations of things to prepare for that particular career field.  Audrey, of New Knoxville Schools, commented that she was able to narrow down to 2-3 career interests that were most fitting for her.  She also realized the importance of additional education for her strongest career interest.  Wyatt, of New Bremen Schools, commented that he liked the environment of the program.  He liked the opportunity to explore careers and quickly determine if a career was a right for him.  He also liked how the program provided career options that are available locally. 

The members of the Sons of the American Legion appreciated the overview of the event provided by the students.  Exploration Academy committee member, Angela Hamberg, told the members that the committee thought it would be beneficial, to the sponsoring groups, to hear directly from the students, as to the value they received from attending the event.  Hamberg commented, “I can share the information, but it has more meaning when you hear from the students.   Plus, it provides public speaking experience for the students.”

The final service club to receive a report back about the event was the New Bremen/New Knoxville Rotary Club.  The sentiment of value continued with each of the students sharing their experience and how it assisted them for their future career goals.  One student shared a story about his friend looking forward to the highlight of the day being “pizza” for lunch.  When the two met up for lunch, the friend was looking forward to more than pizza at that point.  His morning sessions had him looking forward to the afternoon session, particularly the session about a career in welding.

Hamberg attended each of the 3 service clubs to support the students, as well as express gratitude for making the event possible.  Later, when asked by the guidance counselors about how the students did at the speaking engagements, Hamberg reported “They all did great.  They did what we asked, they spoke from their heart on the value they received from the program.” 

Exploration Academy 2014 was the 3rd year for the career event.  The event is for the freshman students of New Bremen, New Knoxville & Minster.  For the first time, it was held at Wright State University Lake Campus.  Over 50 careers were represented, with each student attending 6 sessions.  The careers presented focus on careers available in the local area.  In advance, each of the 177 students were given the opportunity to pick 3-4 careers interests, an additional 2-3 interests were selected for them.  A New Knoxville student commented that she was surprised to find she had an interest in the Communications field.  Hamberg commented that typically students only know about the careers of those close to them (Mom, Dad, sibling, etc.).  It is about awareness, if no one tells them about the available opportunities, they may never find out on their own.  The more that we can educate the youth on local opportunities, the more our youth and communities will benefit.