Officer Washington, of the 113th Precinct, spoke to a class of sixth graders about his career in law enforcement. Photo by Trone Dowd.
BY TRONE DOWD
The Preparatory Academy for Writers at the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus celebrated its annual Career Day on Friday, giving students a chance to see a variety of employment opportunities and get a better idea of what possibilities they should think about when they transition into their adult lives.
Several professions were showcased throughout the many classrooms of the campus, allotting time for participants to describe their jobs in great detail and for student to ask questions about the day in the life of a professional.
Principal Charles Anderson told the PRESS of Southeast Queens that Career Day is something that he sees as an advantageous event for his students who are transitioning to college and professional lives in the next few years.
“We’re giving them a chance to ask some real questions and make life plans with that information,” Anderson said.
“It’s surprising how many 17- and 18-year-olds have no idea about what life will be like after school.”
Teachers and parents were asked to reach out to friends who had found success in their respective careers in the hope that they would come in and share their stories with the Academy for Writers’ students.
This year, Anderson said that Career Day was held in conjunction with the school’s first-ever “Decision Day,” which is set to take place on May 1.
“Decision Day is the day that all high school seniors decide which college they go to,” he said. “May 1 is typically the cut-off date for most college decisions, so we’re having a big ceremony in which our seniors decide which career path they’ll tentatively follow in terms of the education they’re pursuing. We see Career Day as a lead up to that.”
According to Anderson, students are given a chance to understand the value of money and how far salaries typically go in today’s competitive and growingly expensive world.
One of the events participants was the youth officer of the 113th Precinct. The sixth grade class to which he spoke during the duration of his visit asked him informative, fun and hard-hitting questions about his occasionally dangerous job as a city police officer. The discussion included everything from the use of non-lethal force and recent arrests to good deeds performed in the community and using tasers.
“I’m happy to talk to the kids here,” youth officer Jermaine Washington said.
Another professional, real estate agent Anthony Lolli, left an impression on the high school sophomore class he visited. Wearing a three-piece suit, the students asked him question after question regarding his possessions and home and how he managed to get the salary he makes today.
“What you put into this career will be proportionate to what you get out of it,” Lolli told the students.
Lolli assured students that pursuing a career that they’re “passionate about is the key to success, regardless of the commas in one’s paycheck.”
Following classroom presentations, students were invited to a 45-minute networking session on the first floor, giving them a chance to speak to some of the professionals one on one.