Career day pairs students, business

LIHU’E — Preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s careers is a tricky thing, as “change is constant,” Divina Plowman said.

“Career-seekers face tough choices, and can use help finding their way,” she said.

Plowman, instructional support coordinator at Kaua’i High School, and one of the leaders for the school’s annual career day, said this year’s event was designed to help freshmen and sophomore students get a better idea of their future career directions.

Unlike other career-day events, Plowman categorized this year’s presenters according to the four “academies” being offered at Kaua’i High School.

When school reconvenes in the fall, Plowman said all students should have an idea of which academy they would like to be enrolled in.

To simplify the choices, the career-day community presenters were categorized, and in addition to the arena of career offerings, students were invited to listen to academy presentations in the library during the day-long event.

Academies at Kaua’i High School include Business, Health and Human Services, Industrial and Engineering Technology, and Arts and Communications.

“Seek change, find direction,” was the theme of this year’s career day, with students from different classes visiting both the academy presentations and the gym arena at different times of the day.

Armed with questionnaires, students converged on the gym to explore the different options that awaited them by asking questions of some of the presenters.

Ron Wiley of The KQNG Radio Group, in the Arts and Communications section, was one personality who groups of students stopped to “interview,” as the radio personality obliged willingly. Adjacent to the radio booth, J Robertson and Jim Lucas of Ho’ike Kaua’i Community Television, Inc. had a mobile camera and editing setup for students to try and create their own video pieces.

Academy of Health junior and senior students manned a table as part of the health and human services area. The students presented items for their peers to look at and experience, in hopes of “recruiting” new students into their academy.

Derek Kawakami, an alumni of Kaua’i High School, was manning the Big Save, Inc. table in the Business section.

“I had some free time this morning, so I got the shift,” Kawakami said, noting that he had to work at the store following the fair. “But, at least I got to come back to the school.” Guy Higa of the Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club let his pans do the talking, as he prepared a non-stop supply of pasta for both students and presenters to sample.

At one point, he allowed the students to man the pans as Jolene Ogle and JoLynne Tsukamoto, both of the Marriott, manned the distribution tables.

Food was a popular draw for both the students and presenters alike, as the Marriott professionals were joined by those from the Sheraton Kauai Resort in Po’ipu, and the Kaua’i Community College culinary-arts department.

This served as an icebreaker for the students, who were preoccupied with filling out their questionnaires.

Across the way, in the tent located outside the gym, Kuhio Motors and the Kaua’i Community College automotive department representatives had cars on hand. The cars were something that naturally piqued the interest of the students.

Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) officials also had an interactive display, students trying to power up a blender containing smoothie ingredients serving as a temporary respite from trying to fill out all the questionnaires. They were part of the Industrial and Engineering Technology arena.

Earlier in the week, nine sophomores had participated in the National Groundhog Job Shadow Day program with the Kaua’i Marriott representatives, as part of the school’s efforts at helping students discover various career paths.

Those students were selected based on surveys they had taken. Plowman thanked all those who participated: “We appreciate your commitment and support as we continue our efforts to prepare our students for the challenges of their future.”

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