College Night, Career Fair Will Expose Students to Many Academic, Job Possibilities

Submitted by Denair High School:

As many as 500 high school students and their parents are expected to descend upon Denair High School on Thursday night for a countywide event featuring more than 30 colleges, universities and vocational training institutions.

Sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, the College Night presentation is held at a different school each year. This is Denair’s first time to host it.

The event is scheduled from 6 to 8:15 p.m. in the Denair High gym.

For the first time in 19 years in Stanislaus County, Stanford University will be one of the institutions with a booth at College Night. Other colleges include the University of the Pacific, UC Merced, CSU Stanislaus, Fresno Pacific, Modesto Junior College and Merced Community College, and business, trade and arts schools.

Parents and students in grades six through 12 are encouraged to attend. There will be free child care for younger children so parents and other children can attend separate workshops focused on financial aid and scholarships, admission requirements, and local educational and career opportunities.

All the workshops will be conducted in English and Spanish.

Cherie Gresham, counselor at Denair High, said Denair students and their parents are encouraged to attend. Some Denair teachers are offering classroom incentives to students to promote participation.

In the past, Denair High has held its own college fair during the day.

“We’re hoping because it’s at night that we’ll have more parents participate,” Gresham said. “There will be a lot of really good information available from the schools.”

She also encouraged high school seniors who expect to attend junior college for two years to come Thursday “because they can look at four-year schools where they might want to transfer to.”

The College Fair kicks off two days of career-centered activities at Denair High.

On Friday, the school will host its annual Career Fair, during which 21 presenters representing many different lines of work will talk about their jobs during half-hour sessions with students.

“The goal is to give students a glimpse of what these jobs are and what kind education they need to do them,” Gresham explained. “Ultimately, we can’t all be teachers, cops, firefighters, lawyers and doctors — those are the ones I hear the most. We want to give them exposure to many different career possibilities.”

New presenters this year include Turlock Mayor Amy Bublach, a local funeral director, a lineman from the Turlock Irrigation District, a human resources director, a representative from CalTrans, a property development manager and a nonprofit executive

There also will be people from public safety, education, the military, banking, ag-related occupations, personal services, various medical fields and civil engineering.

Earlier this week, all students signed up to attend three sessions.

Friday’s event opens with a motivational speech in the gym to all students by Keith Hawkins, who will talk about how the culture at a school or business “affects how a person performs, how they learn and how productive they will become.”

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