- Vista Ridge High School
PHS Career Speaker Program Provides Glimpse of Professions
The new Career Speakers program at Patriot High School provides students with a glimpse of what selecting a career might look like after graduation. Principal Steve Gard began the program that brings local business representatives and workers into the classroom to discuss their profession.
“In analyzing our students' responses to the ‘what are you doing after high school’ question, there was a staggering lack of opinions, direction, or exposure to career options,” Gard said. “Since workforce-readiness was already a major school improvement goal for PHS, this seemed like a natural and essential program to implement to help our students gain exposure to careers, many of which they have no knowledge of. These career presentations also double as a way to get parents and community members exposed to the positive changes to our school culture at PHS.”
On Nov. 4, Realtor Dorothy Steel brought the students into the world of real estate. She talked about how one could begin a career in real estate, mentioning the state of Colorado allows anyone 18-years or older to get a real estate license.
“You don’t have to go to college to be a realtor,” Steel said. “You do have to go to class and get educated on real estate to get your license. College is great, but expensive. You can earn a good income as a realtor. You can be your own boss, or work for someone.”
Gard said, “We hope the students will gain exposure to careers that they know little about as well as start envisioning their post-secondary plans.”
Alex Chrisco, PHS senior, attended the presentation and said, “It’s eye opening. We get to see what other people do. I also pay attention to how enthusiastic they are about their jobs.”
The Career Speakers program is open to all students, but Gard is encouraging upperclassmen to attend at least six presentations this year as part of their Individual Career & Academic Plan (ICAP).
“The program expands on our message (and mission) about how PHS students will be ‘workforce ready’ upon graduating,” Gard said. “We already cover many workforce-readiness skills in our advisory program, so our hope is that our presenters will be real-life examples of why these skills are important for our students to master as they move into the adult workforce.”
Steel said, “You need to know a little math to be a realtor, but there are tools to help with that. If you really like math, commercial real estate might be a better fit.”
“We have reached out to our parents and the Pikes Peak Business & Education Alliance (PPBEA) network first and accepted just about everybody who is willing to share their business and/or professional journeys with us,” Gard said. “As more students complete a career interest survey, we will be seeking out employers that are related to high-interest fields from the survey reports. We are currently assessing our upperclassmen first and working our way down to underclassmen as well.”
Future Career Speaker presentations include the humane society, an optometrist and an engineer.
Steel answered questions and met with students after the presentation. She told them it’s not just about the income. “Working with people, helping them buy and sell their homes, can be very rewarding.”
If you would like to participate as a Career Speaker or know of someone who would, please contact the PHS Choice & Success Advisor, Courtney Beatty, at firstname.lastname@example.org.