Stamford Academy Students Learn to Plan for Their Futures at 5th Annual Career Conversation
Stamford Academy high school students recently gained career insights from Fairfield County business and community leaders during its 5th Annual Career Conversation. Dozens of students, from grades nine through 12, rotated classrooms for 30-minute conversations about finding, beginning, keeping and advancing in a job.
Students were encouraged to consider how their knowledge and interests could develop a career path. Volunteers offered personal experiences to suggest best approaches to skill-building, educational or vocational training, and job searching.
Fairfield County-based Patriot Bank, N.A. was among the volunteers that participated in this event as part of its continuous efforts to serve the communities its bankers live and work in. Other volunteers included Stamford Police, Stamford Firefighters, local attorneys, entrepreneurs, social service workers and community organization leaders.
The event was held at Stamford Academy, the second charter school opened by Domus, a non-profit that serves more than 1,100 youth in Stamford and New Haven, CT. Stamford Academy opened in 2004 for students who struggled in traditional school environments or had dropped out of school. Its intensive academic program allows students to catch up on instruction in preparation for post-secondary education or training upon graduation.
“I believe this conversation format allows for extremely unique and organic conversations. When I was walking in and out of classrooms, each conversation was very different from the others because the volunteers tailor them to the group of students in front of them,” said Stamford Academy Principal Andrea Weller. “This year we were lucky to have a wide range of volunteers from all different walks of life. The great commonality they shared was their high level of care for our students. This was evident through the content of the conversations and the fact that the conversations overflowed into lunch time.”
“This year we were able to increase the demographic and employment diversity of the volunteers making it the most interactive, engaging, and meaningful conversation yet. It was wonderful to see four Patriot Bank employees join forces with the 34 other volunteers to talk with Stamford Academy Charter High School students about their hopes, dreams, and plans for the future,” said Julia Wade, DOMUS Director of Volunteers.
“It was incredibly inspiring to meet with Stamford Academy students and learn how they are incorporating their interests and skills into their career plans. I’m glad our business and community leaders were able to pass on morsels of knowledge that have been instrumental to their success. These students’ interest and willingness to start building their careers now is a great sign for Stamford’s next generation workforce,” said Joshua Brown, an Assistant Vice President at Patriot Bank.
Patriot bankers Judith Corprew, Robert Hojnacki, Carolyn Wilder and Joshua Brown were among those who discussed how they arrived at their career paths and the steps they took to achieve their aspirations. They spoke about the importance of defining goals, pursuing education and internships, and how to explore job prospects.
Volunteers had lunch with the students following the classroom sessions to continue the dialogue in an open, informal setting.
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