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Career fair opens doors of opportunity for students

Wasco Union High School hosted a college and career fair on Thursday. Various organizations attended to share more about what they have to offer students post-graduation.

Universities, non-profits, the military and the City of Wasco, to name a few, were there to provide valuable insight into opportunities available to upcoming graduates.

Representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide advice and guidance. This was particularly important to those students who would be the first in their families to head to college or take the professional career route.

Unidos Para Salud, a non-profit that works with youth through its program that promotes tobacco prevention, has internships available.

"We work with students to empower them to be advocates in their communities for positive change. We have internships for any seniors graduating who can apply once they begin their first year of college and are undergraduates," project coordinator Celeste Ramos said.

Admissions counselor Hadley Crabtree from Grand Canyon University came to support students looking to further their academic journey.

"The college application to our university is free. We also have free campus tours for seniors where we sponsor an all-paid weekend, including flights, to visit the campus and learn more about the school. There is also no out-of-state tuition," Crabtree said.

Fresno State University outreach coordinator Armando Santos said, "Our program is federally funded, and we serve students that come from migrant backgrounds or families that work in agricultural labor."

He added that there is assistance making the transition from high school to university with resources like orientations for students and their parents, priority registration for their classes and volunteer internships.

"We also help with leadership development and provide stipends that they can use for rent, food and utilities, so they don't have the stress of having to work," Santos said. "It is our goal to get students out of their comfort zone so they can be successful in college."

Maria Rivers, career planner for America's Job Center, said they offer free vocational training, job search assistance and resources to get students into the workforce.

Representatives from the US Navy were there to spread awareness about the benefits of enlisting in the military.

"We want to make sure students are aware of what the navy can provide them," recruiter Jonathan Jurado said. "It is a great path to take."

He continued, "I think we offer many options for graduating students through our GI scholarship bill that provides a grant for college while you serve and a VA home loan so you can buy your first house."

Elizabeth Millar said that she got a lot of good information.

"It is giving me ideas about what I can do after I graduate, and I am learning about all of the opportunities out there."

Vivica Martinez said the event was beneficial. "We can see what options we have after high school. I heard about different programs in college like nursing, criminal justice and becoming a veterinarian."

Fabian Carillo, a sophomore, is already thinking about what he'll do after graduating.

"I got to see what we could do in the real world."

Nayeli Landois was especially happy Bakersfield College was part of the event.

"It is great because that is the one school I am looking into."

Natalie Molina thought the event was perfect for the younger classmen.

"They get a taste of what college is like and about other careers."

Though she said that college is not for everyone.

"There were useful resources for the younger generations to find a career they like and are passionate about," Molina said.

"It is a great outlet because many high school students are unsure of what they want to do in the future and are scared because they don't know what they want. Today brings light to what life could be after high school."


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