Students from Plumas County, Loyalton and Westwood high schools descended on the Feather River College (FRC) campus Sept. 19 for the fourth annual college and career fair.
Many students dressed their best and took advantage of the 20 colleges, 17 industry sectors and seven specialty booths represented.
Four hundred 11th and 12th-graders arrived in buses and gathered in the gym for a briefing on the day’s activities.
They were divided into three groups and assigned a schedule to rotate through the three focus areas of the fair.
The FRC gym was the site for the Career Technical Education College and Career Fair booths.
More than 60 representatives offered information on many career pathways, from archeology to interior design, firefighting to nursing, and environmental studies to early childhood education and beyond.
Students were required to interview at least two career professionals to learn about their careers.
In addition, they were asked to explore college, tech/trade schools and military booths, and list schools or programs that interested them and tell why.
The final task of the indoor session was to visit specialty booths and inquire about services offered, such as financial aid, career exploration and service learning.
Students had the opportunity to ask questions of local experts in the field; to obtain job descriptions and even apply for jobs.
The second focus area was a leadership workshop on the football practice field under the shelter of a tent.
Heather Caiazzo, marriage and family therapist at Plumas Rural Services, led students in an exercise to discover their personality types.
During that self-discovery process, students evaluated specific traits they possess by circling words they identify with, then tallying their scores to determine what type of animal they correspond to.
Each of the four animals — beaver, lion, golden retriever and otter — have certain characteristics that define the way they live and act.
The theory is that by knowing who they are and how they tend to behave and react, students can better know how best to interact with other personality types. In addition, they can understand their own challenges and work to improvements.
A second tent on the upper lawn offered a five-year plan workshop. Speaker Tyler Smith, renowned entrepreneur and real estate agent who was recently named in the top 200 nationwide of over 1.3 million realtors, led the workshop.
Smith, still under 30, is a self-made millionaire. He told students how he became successful: At 19, he decided to become a realtor after buying a house with some friends and seeing how much the realtor made on the sale.
Once he became a realtor, he realized that every time he sold a house he had to pay someone hundreds of dollars to re-key the locks.
After learning that the actual cost of materials to re-key a house was just a few dollars, he realized he could make a lot of money doing the job himself, and he started his second business as a locksmith.
His third company is another offshoot of his real estate business.
As a realtor, he recognized the mountains of paperwork required to buy or sell a house. Add to that the seven-year requirement to keep those records, and Smith decided all that paperwork was a major hassle and began SkySlope LLC, a digital storage business.
SkySlope is a web-based application that stores records in the “cloud” — secure servers not owned by the real estate brokers that produce the data.
In the workshop, Smith guided students in evaluating five important areas of their lives: career, family, spiritual, educational and personal. Each student rated his or her level of success in each category.
Next, he led students to identify the energy drainers, givers and sustainers in their lives. He challenged students to evaluate their associations, the effects those associations have on them, and then take action to achieve success.
For instance, perhaps a student knows that someone they hang out with is not a good influence on them, yet they continue to do it anyway.
Smith encouraged students to take the next step: set goals and follow through to achieve them.
While the high school students attended the fair, FRC students also had the opportunity to visit booths, conduct career interviews, attend workshops and learn about the many opportunities available to them at the college.
High school students reconvened in the gym at 12:50, and learned that to obtain their lunch tickets, they needed to complete a feedback form evaluating their experience at the college and career fair.
Students traded their tickets for sack lunches, boarded their buses and returned to their respective schools, hopefully richer for the experience.
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