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A Step into Your Future

Photo by Ciara Reed

DSC_0104By: Ciara Reed

Do you know what’s going on in your local Career Center? Do you even know what the Career Center is?  Essentially, the Career Center is a huge resource for students of all grade levels to use at their convenience, located outside of the cafeteria in room and adjacent to the Guidance offices. The Career Center’s main goal is to help students prepare for the future, whether you plan to attend a four year college, community college, enlist in the military, or go to work immediately after high school.

Mr. Newkirk, the Career Center Specialist, is the one who guides and assists students in achieving their individual endeavors. His main goal is to make sure that every Tuscarora graduate will progress after high school by providing direction and creating opportunities so that they can reach their greatest potential. Some of the general responsibilities of the Career Center include helping students with college decisions, applications for financial aid, military school enlistment, scholarships, internships, and SAT/ACT prep and sign up.

Another opportunity the Career Center has to offer is college visits. Since the fall is a very college-driven time of the year, especially for upperclassmen, many college representatives from all across the United States come to Tuscarora to advocate for their school. What one could expect in attendance of a presentation is everything you may want to know about the university from academics to the dorm rooms. A unique aspect of these visits is that some of the representatives are the admissions counselors of the college, which allows students to create a personal connection with them, in the hopes of going to their college one day.

The Career Center is extremely versatile, and not only caters to upperclassmen but also the lower levels as well. There are many resources available to sophomores and freshmen such as enrichment programs, volunteer opportunities, and job employment. The Career Center also provides interest surveys and personality questionnaires for freshmen and sophomores that match students with prospective jobs that best fit their personalities to help build a career path. An event taking place currently, primarily for freshmen and sophomores, is the Monroe Shadowing Day. It is a day where students are able to visit the Monroe Technology School and explore all the different career fields. Each student picks two careers that they are most interested in and can sit in on a session of a Monroe class to experience what it would be like to take the course. The shadowing is very hands-on and helps students develop insight on what they would potentially want to practice at Monroe or pursue as a career.

Another opportunity in the upcoming months for juniors to partake in is Job for a Day. Similar to the Monroe Shadowing program, Job for a Day allows students to shadow an employee in a chosen field. The process is simple and only requires an application that includes a resume and the student’s top two desired professions. Only 350-400 students are accepted in the county, which makes the program very competitive. Job for a Day provides experiences with different people and places that aren’t always available in the school environment. For example, if someone wanted to pursue a career in journalism, he/she could get a shadowing experience at the Loudoun Times Mirror to learn first-hand the daily tasks and demands that the job of working for a newspaper encompasses.

In addition, the Career Center has another ongoing event called “Lunch and Learns,” which is a type of writing workshop held every quarter for students of all grade levels. Mr. Newkirk and other teachers are present to critique essays and help students work on resume writing and interviewing skills.

Another option for retrieving help during the college process is utilizing our very own Career Specialist. Mr. Newkirk provides one-on-one sessions for the students of Tuscarora. This form of college planning may be more preferred by students because they can physically sit down with someone and communicate their wants and needs. It is Mr. Newkirk’s job to make sure each and every student achieves the best by helping with the application process, including writing essays and finding the right college fit.

“Seeing the kids get that opportunity to go to their dream school and getting college acceptance is an amazing feeling,” said Mr. Newkirk. The Career Center provides countless possibilities for high school students; however, it is up to us to take advantage of them. With the utilization of the Career Center, you are already taking a step in the right direction towards a bright future.


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