Orefield Middle School Students Learn Career Possibilities

Presentations by professionals, including a Patch editor, play a vital role in preparing students for high school and future careers, teachers say.


Updated 11:45 a.m.

Eighth-grade students at Orefield Middle School have been getting an earful -- about possible careers.

Since the beginning of the school year, professionals have been stopping by Orefield Middle School once a month to talk with students about their jobs to better expose students about career opportunities.

Visitors have included a lawyer, architect and funeral director. Future sessions will include a newscaster, candymaker and environmental planner.

On Friday, Jan. 11, this Patch editor met with students to talk about a career as an online journalist -- from the skills they will need if they want to be a journalist to the type of stories that journalists cover. 

Student Tessa Nichols practiced being an online reporter and asked fellow students about career day.

Student Lisa Conte told Nichols she liked "hearing the speakers and learning about other careers, professions and opportunities that I wasn't familiar with before."

Conte is hoping to hear from someone involved in the performing arts and theater at future career days.

Student Lexi Lauser also told Nichols she likes Career Day because she's "able to look at future careers that we can go into." She is most interested in hearing from an engineer or doctor.

In past school years, various professionals also had come to address students about their careers, but that was through the Learning for Life Career Awareness program, said history teacher Sandi Gackenbach.

When that program came to an end, Orefield's eighth-grade social studies teachers, recognizing the importance of exposing students to available careers, decided to continue with a similar program this school year. 

Student Rick Panella, also trying his hand at being an online reporter, asked teacher Michael Messerschmidt about the importance of career day.

"Exposing students to careers can help them make the right choice in the future," Messerschmidt said.

Student Julian Cruz also practiced being an online reporter. He asked fellow student Alanna Rivera who the most influential person students have so far met during career day presentations. 

Rivera said she most enjoyed meeting lawyer William Exaros, who met with students in November. She said Exaros meets a lot of different people in his job and his work doesn't seem repetitive since he's always doing different things. 

Sandi Gackenbach January 11, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Mary Ellen: Thank you so much for sharing your career with our students. Your expertise and knowledge were terrific for our kids to learn about! Sandi Gackenbach
Mary Ellen Alu January 11, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Had a blast with students and social study teachers at Orefield Middle School this morning. Thanks for hosting me as part of your Career Day program! Mary Ellen
TheMysteriousGrapefruit January 11, 2013 at 09:51 PM
I am an eighth grader at Orefield Middle School and I saw your presentation today. It was really intriguing. I'm considering to maybe become a journalist. Thanks for coming and sharing about your job! -Brittany


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