Los Angeles City Fire Captain Richard Carlin was covered from head to toe in a 60-pound fire-resistant suit and oxygen tank as students reached out to touch his suit during Sunkist Elementary School’s Career and Vehicle Day on April 6.

This marks the second year Sunkist hosted industry professionals for students to learn about various careers and see up close the automobiles some of them operate while on the job.

“Career Day is important for all of us because it gives us an idea of things to research if we want to do that job when we grow up,” Sunkist fifth-grader and ASB President Raine Perez said. “I liked listening to the mayor because we have a lot in common — I have a lot of responsibilities and help make decisions for the school as part of ASB.”

Career Day kicked off with third- to fifth-graders attending 30-minute presentations to learn about each presenter’s line of work and personal backgrounds. This year’s professionals ranged from crime scene investigators, showcasing evidence envelopes and a footprint casting, to officers from California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department.

One of the presenters was La Puente Mayor Dan Holloway, who discussed his role in local government and the use of tax money for public safety.

“Career Day is designed to expose our students to different careers and the role education plays in those careers,” Sunkist Counselor Luis Salazar said. “Vehicle Day is geared toward the lower grades because they are fascinated by the vehicles, and it also begins their career exploration conversations.”

Vehicle Day encompassed the second half of the day for transitional kindergarteners through second-graders, where they had the chance to sit in police cars, a limo, a fire truck and landscaping machinery.

“Bassett Unified continually provides educational and engaging events to expose students to what may be their future careers,” Bassett Superintendent Alex Rojas said. “Having the opportunity to interact with experts in various fields may spark a desire that will guide the students through their future college and career endeavors.”

The event began as part of the Bassett Unified’s commitment to No Excuses University, an elementary school program that immerses all students in a college-going atmosphere.


CAREERDAY1: Sunkist Elementary students stand in front of a California Highway Patrol vehicle with two officers as part of Vehicle and Career Day on April 6. Vehicle and Career Day introduces students to careers that are attainable with a college degree.

CAREERDAY2: Fire Captain Richard Carlin with LA City Fire demonstrates his fire suit for Sunkist Elementary students during the school’s Vehicle and Career Day on April 6.