On October 10th, Parkdale hosted its annual College and Career Fair, giving students a look into different post-graduation options.
Sponsored by Council Chair Dannielle Glaros and Board of Education Member Lupi Grady, the fair was open for all students to explore not only state and regional colleges, but also colleges from other parts of the country, technical and trade schools, armed forces information, and employers from across the region.
Although many students sigh and yawn when they hear “You need to figure out what you’re going to do with your life!” from their parents, some students still attended the event to learn from representatives of different colleges and career paths.
“I’m mostly here to choose or get a broader idea of what I want, which college I want to go to,” said senior James Freeman. “And try my best to get a specific idea, like a closer view on what I exactly want to do.”
There was a selection of colleges for students to approach and gather information. Students could amass information from Prince George’s Community College and less than three feet away, students learned about the qualifications to attend Harvard University, Howard University, and the University of California Los Angeles.
Whether a college is an Ivy league or for everyone in the community, these schools share the same goal of meeting one on one with Parkdale students to answer any questions or inquiries students may have about the college they’re representing.
“Our purpose is to speak with students and to share [information] about Mason’s ultimate mission, which is to share education with students and bolster them in their undergraduate and graduate experiences,” said George Mason University Representative Julia Jordan-Haas. “We’re coming to get to know students and to hear about perspective students interest is Mason.”
The fair wasn’t all about promoting students to attend colleges or universities; trade schools and other professions were at attendance that night. Students also had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Prince George’s fire department, the Association of Air Conditioning Professionals (AACP), and the armed forces (Navy, Army, etc.).
Other than the armed forces, these booths drew much smaller crowds compared to those of the universities and colleges. However the representatives of these alternative post-high school options still had much to offer students.
“[AACP] is educational but you do work during the day so you make money…”, said a AACP representative. “Our programs are significantly less than college tuition so if you can’t afford college or if you don’t see yourself going in that direction.”
Whether students want to jump into college, the workforce or the military, Parkdale’s College and Career fair offered that information and the connections need in order for students to be prepared for whatever path they choose to take after high school.