San Gabriel Unified Career Day Urges Middle Schoolers to Pursue Dreams

SAN GABRIEL, CA – Jefferson Middle School students explored a variety of vocational fields, from accountant to aerialist, chef to civil engineer, and fashion designer to firefighter, on March 30 during the school’s annual Career Day.

Judge Akemi Arakaki, one of 40 professionals who presented at Career Day, is a San Gabriel Valley native who presides as a judicial officer at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park. Arakaki emphasized to students that there should be no obstacles to pursuing the career of their dreams.

“Every day at the Children’s Court I meet wonderful people, as well as those who have fallen on hard times. It’s a rewarding job and one that takes years of schooling and professional practice to succeed in,” Arakaki told students. “I want you to know that you have options in your life. This could be you someday.”

Jefferson Middle School students took notes and asked questions during four 40-minute workshops, during which presenters provided detailed job descriptions, salary ranges and academic requirements for their profession.

“It’s never too early for students to be considering potential career paths,” Jefferson Principal Matt Arnold said. “Our staff does a tremendous job bringing in area professionals who are passionate about sharing their experiences, and giving back to the community.”

Guest speakers engaged students with videos, props and hands-on activities to highlight their presentations. San Gabriel Unified social worker Denise Faigao led student groups in a series of self-esteem boosting exercises, including one in which students gently tossed a volleyball with personality questions written on it.

“Social work is a very important field where you can engage with people from all walks of life, from newborns to the elderly,” Faigao said. “If you like to work with people, and have a desire to make the world a better place, then a career path as a social worker is a possibility for you.”

Music composer Stuart Brawley emphasized that versatility and networking are key components for finding work in the music industry. Izzy Camacho, chef at The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills and a San Gabriel Unified parent, stressed that the perfect job is one where you enjoy getting up every day to go to work.

“San Gabriel Unified is committed to preparing every student to be college- and career-ready upon graduation,” SGUSD Superintendent Dr. John Pappalardo said. “We greatly value the participation of our community partners, who are generous with their time and guidance and provide an invaluable service for our students.”

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

040618_SANGAB_CAREER1: Izzy Camacho, chef at The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills, explains the restaurant business to Jefferson Middle School students during the school’s annual Career Day on March 30. Camacho, who is also a San Gabriel Unified parent, was one of 40 professionals who talked to students about potential career paths.

040618_SANGAB_CAREER2: Senior Forensic Attendant Michael Aparicio describes a day in the life of the Los Angeles County Coroner to Jefferson Middle School students during the school’s annual Career Day on March 30. Guest presenters provided detailed job descriptions, salary ranges and academic requirements for their profession.

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