WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — From firefighters to financiers, a wide range of options were laid out to Mount Greylock Regional School students on Wednesday morning.
And while the vocations presented in a career fair in the school’s cafeteria offered a variety of choices, the role models tended to have one thing in common.
"Almost everyone who is here presenting was a student here at Mount Greylock," Mount Greylock teacher Lisa Mendel said.
Mendel organized the fair with the help of a grant from the Berkshire Workforce Development Board. The event, geared to freshmen, sophomores and juniors, brought bankers, first-responders, contractors, cooks and health-care providers to the school to talk about their professions and answer questions from the students.
It was the first time in about five years that the school has hosted such an event, Mendel said.
To ensure that the students circulated throughout the fair, they were asked to collect stickers from each of the presenters they talked to on a form that the kids then entered into a raffle if they met at least 10 of the visitors.
But other than ensuring that the students did not stay too long in any one spot, the incentive of a raffle hardly seemed necessary. The students seemed engaged and inquisitive. And while ninth- through 10th-graders were the target audience, a few seniors found their way to the cafeteria for the event.
The presenters were chosen in collaboration with the school’s guidance department to make sure the students were exposed to a variety of perspectives. And Mendel had no trouble recruiting the professionals to come and share their time.
"A lot of them are [former students] I’ve remained friendly with and kept in touch with," Mendel said. "They were all so excited to come because they’ve been in these kids’ seats."
Presenters at Wednesday's fair included: Williamstown Police Officer Mike Ziemba; Pittsfield fire fighter Neil Myers; engineer A.J. Guntlow of New England Solar; financial advisor David Jones of Barnum Financial Group; Chelsea Nevue, education coordinator at the Clark Art Institute; accountant Jason Hurley of Waste Management; hairdresser Krystal Martelle of Salon 290; event planners Greg and Sarah Holland of Bloom Meadows; contractor Matt Burke of Burke Remodeling; teacher Kim Simpson of Reid Middle School; social worker Jessica Chittenden of Counseling Center of the Berkshires; Rebecca Kelly of Greylock Insurance; Sarah Feury and Jane Miller of Burnham Gold Real Estate; Charlene Lambert of the Greylock Canine Club; paramedic Amalio Jusino of Northern Berkshire EMS; massage therapist Carissa Calderwood of Kripalu; chef James Demarias of Mingo's; Doug White of North East Fugitive Recovery; Jake Phillips of MountainOne Financial; Sgt. Pierce of the U.S. Army; Ashley Jowett, Michael LaRoche and Ray Smith of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.
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