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College and Career Day Set for March 17

A first-of-its-kind effort at Unadilla Valley Central School next week is designed to expose middle and high school students to the world beyond the school’s walls with the hopes of inspiring their futures.

Hundreds of students in grades six through 12 will participate in College and Career Day, which will be held on March 17 both at the school building and off-site at dozens of colleges, businesses and other organizations.

Studies of public education have shown that American students are, in general, not getting significant levels of exposure to opportunities in the world beyond their own microcosms. The Unadilla Valley College and Career Day is designed to plant seeds and ignite sparks.

“It is important to show kids opportunities that they possibly did not even know existed, to show them things they may not otherwise have had a chance to see,” said Student Advocate Kevin Nial, who his helping to organize the event. “If kids see a college campus or a career opportunity it might just spark a goal and a resulting lifelong adventure.”

Sixth grade students will be staying at the school and engaging with guest speakers and other activities. Guests include Chobani, the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office, It’s a Guy Thing and Norwich Pharma.

Seventh through 11th grade students will be going on field trips. Half the day will be spent at area colleges to learn about higher education, and the other half of the day will be spent at businesses to learn about occupations.

The 12th grade students will engage in one-to-one job shadowing experiences. The students will have the chance to examine more than 50 occupations in a variety of fields. Opportunities include shadowing an electrician, several positions in local industry, small business owners and workers and many more.

The seniors previously had a workshop on resume development and they will be presenting their resumes to those that they shadow for feedback.

Nial said it is hoped that this becomes an annual event so that each year, students get to have different experiences, giving them an edge when it becomes time to decide their college and career paths after high school graduation.

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