Southeastern hosts first Opportunities Fair for Freshmen Students
Joining up with the Sea Cadets might never cross the mind of a young teenager who lives in the landlocked Easton area. But the possibility is very real, and it is just one of a variety of opportunities presented on April 26, at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School.
The school held an Opportunities Fair, open to all its 320 freshmen, run by the school’s guidance department. Students got to visit a variety of exhibits that provided information about college and high school programs, community service, part-time jobs, coops and externships, and other extra-curricular activities.
Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti appeared at the beginning of the fair to speak to the students about their options. She told the students that they should never feel intimated.
“When I was your age, I cleaned toilets….and now I’m the first woman elected as the mayor of Brockton, and it wasn’t easy. With hard work and determination, you can do anything you want to do, and don’t let anyone tell you can’t!” she said.
Guidance Counselor Karyn Clifford, who works with freshmen, organized the event. She said she got many of her ideas from last year’s senior students and their parents, who had wished they had been more aware of opportunities when they started high school.
Exhibits included speakers from both outside and inside the school. Speakers outside the school were from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Massasoit Community College, the U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, the Boys and Girls Club of Brockton, the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board and the Brockton YMCA. Southeastern speakers provided information about Skills USA, virtual high school (taking courses over the internet), co-op programs, externship programs, community service, and senior projects.
Students learned they can get start applying for jobs at just 14 years old through the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board. They can also join a teen club, at the Boys & Girls club of Boston, or take dual-enrollment courses at Massasoit Community College while still in high school.
If they want to go outside the region, they can apply for a three-day summer program at the Mass Maritime Academy, in Buzzards Bay, in which they’ll get to sail and learn the basics of navigation, among many other activities (with the possibility of receiving financial aid). They can also join the U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, which has units in Quincy and Fall River that train during Sundays and the summer.
School speakers included many seniors who shared their past experiences with community service, externships, and co-ops. They also gave their younger peers advice about senior projects and portfolios.