Students Explore Careers at iCan Expo and UAFS

Raiders recently had two opportunities to explore future career options. In October, freshmen attended the iCan Career Expo at the Fort Smith Convention Center where they were introduced to a variety of careers, including local professions in the River Valley job market. In November, eighth graders in Career Development classes toured the University of Fort Smith Arkansas (UAFS) campus where admission officers told them about college activities and majors, as well as opportunities at Western Arkansas Technical Center (WATC).

At the iCan Career Expo, freshmen rotated to twelve different career presentations ranging from jobs in banking, metal fabrication, trucking, aviation, architect, highway department, emergency response, and television studios. After the rotations, they visited vendors of their choice.

“Some things I enjoyed about the iCan Expo was that at the bank stand, we made a video for a shoe and won a two dollar bill,” Gabby Garcia, 9th, said.

Stephanie Freeman, career development facilitator, felt that the freshmen benefited greatly from the experience.

“Students were able to ask questions and listen to professionals about what their jobs consist of on a daily basis,” Mrs. Freeman said. “The iCan Career Expo highlighted jobs in the Fort Smith area and exposed students to the variety of ways to be a successful adult in their community.”

Mrs. Freeman also saw the value in the eighth grade college campus tour.

“Our 8th graders got to see a college campus and college classrooms and hear from representatives about the importance of their education,” Mrs. Freeman said.

Student had their favorites about touring the UAFS campus.

“The field trip was a great experience and anyone who goes on it returns with a lot more motivation,” Litzy Martinez, 8th, said.

The campus tour inspired students to attend college in the future.

“One way the campus tour inspired me was to make good grades to get a scholarship,” Iris Ponce, 8th, said.

Every year, Mrs. Core’s Career Development students go on the campus tour with the same goal.

“The main purpose for the campus is exposure,” Mrs. Freeman said. “Many of the students haven’t ever been on a college campus before. Some students may only visit a college this one time between now and the time they graduate high school. We take students every year as they are creating their career plans in Career Development class. We ask them to think about their future and plan for college and career based on as much information as possible. Visiting a college campus allows students to be aware of what that learning environment would be like if they choose to attend.”