Seventh and 8th graders attended a “Career Awareness” assembly on Thursday, January 11, 2018 in the auditorium of Carbondale Area’s Junior/Senior High School. Maria Bernardo from the Workforce Development Board of Lackawanna County, Business Education Partnership led the presentation which was entitled “Climb Your Mountain.”

She stressed that academic and career planning is a process that should start at this age. She reminded the students that it’s okay not to know what they want to do with their lives at this point.

She encouraged them to start thinking about it however. She said the first steps are to get to know themselves and find out what they enjoy doing.

She suggested they volunteer and join after school activities to choose what they like and don’t like.

All of these things, she told the students, will help them get a better idea about what classes they want to take and what career path they want to get on.

Maria enlisted some other speakers from different fields to speak with our students such as Mary Joan Lavelle, MSN, from the Practical Nursing Program at the Career Technology Center who spoke about jobs in the medical fields.

Luke Zalewski from South Canaan who is a student at Johnson School told them about the Electrical Engineering Technology Program at his college and what jobs he is being prepared for.

Richard P. Fornes, Director of Innovation, Electronic Technology Department Chair, Johnson College of Technology, was also on hand to talk about The Electronic & Industrial Divisions at his school. Maria also invited Michael J. Brust, Training Director for the IBEW-NECA Local #81 Union to speak to the students about careers that involve trades rather than intense higher education. All speakers stressed how both math, English and the ability to express themselves and communicate are the most necessary skills they need for any career.

When asked what she thought of the assembly, Madison said, “The assembly was the finishing step of Mrs. Bernardo’s presentation. It started when she visited our English classes to begin the discussion on “Climbing our Mountain” towards finding a career.

"The assembly was very helpful in getting us to think about what we wanted to do with our lives. It’s such an important choice and it’s so difficult to do at this young age. It’s good to get us thinking about it early.”