02/16/11 — Early start: Middle school career fair gives students glimpse ahead to future

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Early start: Middle school career fair gives students glimpse ahead to future

Whoever came up with the idea to bring middle school students into a career fair to see exactly what kind of opportunties they can dream about as they begin their high school educations has exactly the right idea.

Getting students focused on a goal young -- and showing them that that dream is attainable by letting them meet people who are actually doing the work -- is a great way to get them thinking about their futures.

Then, taking that enthusiasm and channeling it into an education program that leads to a high school diploma and possibly college or further training, is the next step. And by doing that, we can do something about the number of young people in this and other communities who seem to hit high school and stall.

There are plenty of children who dream big these days. The problem is, for some of them, those aspirations center around rap singers, professional athletes and movie stars. And while some might be able to shoot for careers in those fields, the vast majority of these youngsters end up without a career and without a plan for their futures.

If we could get them more excited about ordinary careers -- the kind that will bring them not fame and fortune, but jobs and an income to support themselves -- they just might be able to come up with an alternate plan that could lead to success and happiness.

So, two days of exploring those possibilities is exactly what these young people need to get their dreams started. And those who took the time to help them take those first steps should be praised.

Published in Editorials on February 16, 2011 10:55 AM