Promising Practice: Career Fair and Community header image

Pacific High School held their first annual Career Fair, with close to 100 7th-12th graders chatting with 15 local businesses and organizations about career options and educational requirements. "[The] kids asked good questions, [and] were curious about how much college was needed in our career," said Deputy Rod McAllister of the Curry County Sherriff's office.

The students agreed: "I liked that we got an opportunity to look at careers that we could do," said Julie. "I liked that the guest speakers liked what they do."

Capitalizing on this initial interest and support from the local community, the school shared information about the importance of GEAR UP and college readiness and asked each organization to sign a pledge that showed their commitment to the school's goals. 

"The pledge is a direct way to ask for support for GEAR UP programs and college readiness efforts in a way that empowers potential partners to contribute in their own way," said GEAR UP Community Engagement Specialist Becky Wilson, who attended the event. "While monetary donations are the most practical way for some to contribute, it may be easier and more valuable for others to donate time, expertise, in-kind materials – everyone has something of value to bring.  While many small, local businesses expect school groups to ask for money – and may experience “burn out giving” – the pledge recognizes the value of these community partners, and welcomes the donation of that value in many ways."

Three businesses signed the pledge on the spot, committing to participating in future similar events, spreading news and information to employees, and/or providing funds or materials.

Summer Red, an AmeriCorps representative participating in the Career Fair, summed it up best, "My favorite career fair to date!"