"It's really important to know what you want to do for college and what you should prepare yourself in high school for," Olivia said. She's an 8th grader at Cimarron Middle School in Parker.
Krista Zizzo has been working all year to put together the event which was housed at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Tuesday. She says 8th graders need to start thinking about what professions might interest them.
"It's never too soon to investigate the world of work," Zizzo, program coordinator, said. "Some of our 8th graders in January this year will be choosing which academy they will be going into in high school."
Olivia walked around looking into a variety of professions from veterinary technician to nurse to police officer. She says she's interested in a career where she helps care for people or animals.
"I think seeing all the different choices and narrowing it down to a couple would help you," Olivia said.
Zizzo says the career expo is not only helpful to the students. It's a benefit to employers, too.
"Our representatives from Lockheed Martin told me that they need to hire 9,000 engineers over the next 10 years," Zizzo said. "Planting the seed right now will help Douglas County companies grow their own employees in the future."
Becky Wilson represents the Intermountain Rural Electric Association. She says the expo is helping her educate students about how the power company functions. She says many kids had no idea the types of jobs available within the utility industry.
"That's why we're here," Wilson said. "We've got so many different careers that they can go into and we just want to pique some interest."
Zizzo hopes to continue the expo next year. She says district leaders will make a decision after middle school principals evaluate if the event was worthwhile.
"That's definitely a goal for the district to provide our students with the opportunity to see their futures," Zizzo said.
Olivia says she's glad she got to weigh her options and ask real professionals about what it takes to be successful.
"I feel a lot better with my decisions than I would have if I didn't come here," Olivia said.
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