CENTERVILLE -- High school sophomores, mostly in groups of three and four, moved among 65 businesses at a career fair last week with the intent of filling out their BINGO cards.
These werent ordinary BINGO cards, though. The nearly 1,000 students from Houston, Peach and Dooly counties were tasked to fill in each of the 25 squares by visiting various businesses at the fair, held Feb. 13 at the Galleria Conference Center.
Most had their hands full of paperwork, pens and free food from booths such as Cox Communications and the National Guard Recruiters.
Monica Montes, a sophomore at Northside High School, already knew she wanted to go to cosmetology school.
I like to do my hair and nails, she said showing off her fingers.
Monica Kearse, work-based learning instructor at Veterans High School, said the purpose of the career fair is to allow students to see what kind of businesses and careers are available as well as teach them about soft skills.
Soft skills include handshakes, posture and introductions. They give an employer an impression of the person.
James Weeks, a safety and risk manager at Cox, said his employer attends career fairs to educate students about what type of positions are available and what kind of education is required.
We get to impress upon students early the kind of education they need, he said.
Keyana Cosby, a Warner Robins High School student, knows her career choice is going to take a lot of schooling.
It is going to be at least eight years of school, the aspiring medical doctor said.
Her classmate Alexis Cruthirds wants to be an orthopedic assistant.
I want to deal with casts and work with bones, she said, though she admitted the only bone she has broken was in her finger.
The two girls stopped to hear Lt. James Buck of Perry police talk about how to become a police officer. There are three phases in the police academy, including firearms, driving and academics.
Buck said it was important to reach students early to tell them what is needed for their desired future job.
We need to interact with our youth at a time where they can still focus their education towards their career field, he said.