Reprinted with permission from The Cullman Times
HANCEVILLE — It’s never too early for students to begin thinking about their career options, and many local students got the opportunity to get an up-close look at many Tuesday.
Almost 1,000 eight-graders from every Cullman County school explored different career paths they can follow at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce’s Career Awareness Fair at Wallace State Community College.
Many local businesses, agencies and industries came to the fair to show off their work and allow students to learn more about what they need to do to get there.
Elizabeth Watwood, an eighth grade teacher at Hanceville Middle School, said the career fair should prove to be very helpful to students who are planning out their futures.
“I think it’s good for them to see the different career fields that are out there,” she said.
This particular fair is also helpful, because almost all of the area’s industries are represented, so students can see what kind of jobs may be available nearby, Watwood said.
“I think it’s neat that its the things that are in our county that are here,” she said.
Of the eight-graders who attended the fair, many already had ideas for the future and liked the opportunity to get a closer look at some of their options.
Ethan Adams, an eighth grader at Good Hope Middle School, said he already has a plan to follow his passions into a career.
“I’m thinking about being a video game designer,” he said. “I’m really into video games.”
Even if he didn’t have an idea about his future, the career awareness fair would be helpful because of the many options that are available.
“It’s great to know some career choices you can choose from in the future,” he said.
Brady Johnson, an eighth grader at Fairview Middle School, also said he has a plan for the future.
“I want to be a mechanic that works on high-performance engines,” he said.
Johnson said he has been racing since he was 6 years old, and his father has been racing for decades, so the love for racing and working on engine is something that runs in the family.
“It’s really just something that I love,” he said.
Fairview eighth grader Ben Tankersley also has high-octane goals for his future.
“I’m kinda looking into aerospace engineering,” he said.
He said he has always liked airplanes and building models, and also enjoys taking things apart to see how they work, so that seems like a good career that could combine those things.
“It just kind of puts two and two together,” he said.
Tankersley said he also enjoyed the career fair and getting hands-on with some of the jobs that he may be interested in.
“It’s pretty neat,” he said. “There’s such a variety of things you can do.”
The career awareness fair is necessary and helpful because students need to plan for their futures and courses they may need to take in high school, said Fairview teacher Aaron Prater.
“I think it’s pretty essential,” he said.
Thinking about possible careers is a new idea for many eighth graders, but they are at the age where they need to start figuring out what they want to do in the future, Prater said.
“They need to start getting on that now,” he said.
Prater said several students gravitated towards booths they seemed very interested in, and he hoped they come away with a better idea for their possible future plans.
“It’s important to be aware,” he said.