By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Scott County Catholic schools’ counselors hosted a career fair March 6 for eighth-graders to learn about some future career choices.
Students from Lourdes Catholic School in Bettendorf and All Saints Catholic School, John F. Kennedy Catholic School and St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Davenport attended the day-long event at St. Ambrose University.
Anna Schott, JFK counselor, said this year’s event featured 36 career stations. Some of the new vendors included a pet therapist, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with both a civil engineer and geologist, and the director of global security from Deere & Co.
Schott said the teens know about careers for physicians and teachers, but the career fair offers “a wide range of opportunities for them to explore. We’re giving them a larger framework to look at.”
Representatives from Quad City Canine Assistance Network brought two of their therapy dogs to the fair. The handlers talked about how therapy dogs can help children.
Stacey Teager, community services director of the Quad City Animal Welfare Center in Milan, Ill., encouraged students to do volunteer work while young. “Find your passion and go with it from there,” she said. “Make a difference in your community.”
She also talked about her job with the center, which has an animal shelter and wellness clinic for pets. Teager said good and bad days occur at work, “but you have to think of the good.”
An example of a bad day is when an injured animal arrives at the center. “You don’t cry in front of the animal. You think of the good and work to make the animal better.”
Nick Shorten of the Davenport Police Department identified some of the different divisions within the department where people can work: K-9 squad, SWAT team, and detective bureau, among others.
One student asked Shorten whether he’d ever been shot at. At work, no; in the military, yes. He told students he hopes he never gets shot at again.
Another student asked about tazers. Shorten said they are a good tool to use at times. He told the students that when police officers learn how to use tazers they get tazed themselves. They get to know what it feels like. “It’s an awful feeling, but it wears off fast.”
Jayden Erdman-Fuller, a student at All Saints, said it was interesting to go to so many stations and learn about different jobs. Some of his favorites were the fire department and military police department. But he also enjoyed learning about the animal shelter and how the Milan facility is a no-kill shelter. “Every animal has a chance there.”
All Saints student Aspen Entsminger liked seeing so many options. A lot of the stations featured jobs she didn’t know about.
GG Sierra, also a student at All Saints, learned about the different types of engineering programs, such as industrial, mechanical and electrical. He liked seeing different technologies used at various stations.
Schott says the career fair is always looking for more vendors. Next year organizers hope to work out a schedule so St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt can attend the career fair. Talks are underway to make that happen.