Instead of going to regularly scheduled classes, tenth grade students at West Stokes High School spent time thinking and talking about their futures. Students rotated through three areas designed to provide them with particular information and insight from presenters.
In the “Career/Business” section held in the school gym, students interacted with representatives from a variety of businesses and community agencies including the skilled trades, the arts community, medicine, law enforcement, city government, sales, marketing, banking, education, and others. They learned about tasks and responsibilities of various occupations and education and credentials required for entry-level positions and career advancement. Representatives shared with students what they like and dislike about their occupations and tips for building a meaningful career and life.
In the “Educational Planning” section held in the band room, tenth graders learned from a panel of college graduates and current college students from Stokes County who addressed questions from the high school students and shared advice on preparing for college. Panel members talked about the importance of early exploration of colleges, fields of study, financial aid, and campus life. And they stressed the important role a strong academic foundation built in high school plays in success in college.
In the “Volunteer and Community Service” section held in the media center, students traveled from table to table to talk with representatives from King Chamber of Commerce, Young Life, the Stokes Arts Council, Stokes County YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Chestnut Grove Ruritan Club, the Rotary Club of King, local churches, and other organizations. They learned about the vital role civic, volunteer, and non-profit organizations play in building strong communities and individual life successes. While discussing the importance of helping others and “giving back,” tenth graders learned that some volunteer opportunities are available to them now. Many picked up applications from service organizations and made plans to volunteer this coming summer.
The “Life Planning Expo” was sponsored by the Rotary Club of King and coordinated by David Martin, Career Development Coordinator for Stokes County Schools. Members of the West Stokes Interact Club, the high school version of a Rotary club, served as hosts for the event.
Sue Jarvis, Youth Services Chair for the Rotary Club, commented on the program, “Our club was delighted to offer this program which we believe enhances the excellent efforts taking place at West Stokes High School to help prepare students for college, employment, and life. We appreciate the enthusiastic participation of the community, the warm hospitality of West Stokes High School, the help of the Interact Club, and the involvement and appreciation of the tenth graders. It was a good day for all.”