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Career speaker series introduces elementary students to lesser-known careers

Career speaker series introduces elementary students to lesser-known careers
Posted at 11:05 AM, Feb 08, 2022

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Fourth-grade students at Independence Primary School are spending some of their lunchtime sitting side by side with professionals who work in their community. The 'Lunch & Learn' career speaker series is meant to expose students to a wide variety of jobs that help keep their community running.

"My main focus, my real passion for Independence, specifically, is career exposure because I feel like with a small community, there are just so many opportunities out there that our students are just not aware of because we live in a small, not very diverse group of people in this community. It's a smaller district," said Amanda Jaronowski.

Jaronowski serves as the career specialist for the Independence School District. She, along with the school counselor, organized the series for the young students.

"The most important thing is, what are you going to be as an adult? How are you going to be a successful human functioning in society when you leave here?" Jaronowski said. "I'm really trying to broaden and deepen their focus on what do these career paths mean for me personally. How does it affect me? And what I like to do. And what my skill set is."

During the series, students will be having lunch and having conversations with various employees throughout Independence and beyond. On Feb. 8 the theme is city leadership.

"So not only is the mayor coming, but his administrative assistant is coming. Not only is the clerk of courts coming, but our community service director is coming, the police chief. All these different pieces of a puzzle that form our city leadership that I don't think a lot of students are even remotely aware exists," Jaronowski said.

Following that, Jaronowski has planned a medical professionals day plus a lunch dedicated to nonprofits.

"And not only do I have a nurse coming in, I have an administrator of a nursing home. I have different kind of unique professions that you might not necessarily associate with the medical community," she said. "There's money to be had in that, you know, you can have a career helping others and running a nonprofit."

Jaronowski, an Independence grad herself, said this series stems from personal experience. She said when she enrolled in college she felt lost. The now career specialist said she had no idea there were thousands of careers out there.

"I look back at that experience and it really motivates me to look at our community today of a very small school, a very not a wide net of career exposure. And I see it as a inherent duty of mine to give our students as much experience as they would if they went to a district with eight thousand children."