Arianna Higgs speaks about cosmetology
Arianna Higgs speaks about cosmetology

Grovetown Elementary students consider career pathways

Dance competitions inspired Arianna Higgs’ career choice.

But it wasn’t being on stage and performing that appealed to the Grovetown High School senior.

“I liked the hair and makeup,” said Higgs, who has been part of the cosmetology pathway at Grovetown for the past three years. On March 21, she talked about her high school experience with fourth and fifth graders at the Forecast Your Future Career Day at Grovetown Elementary School.

The job exploration event is the first of its kind for elementary school students in Columbia County, according to officials.

Automotive students demonstrate how to use tools. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

“Doing this exploration and introduction is important for them to have some idea of what they want to do,” said Chandria Tenpenny, school guidance counselor.

For Tuesday’s event, the fourth and fifth graders received a card with the 15 pathways listed. They chose to learn more about three of them. Pathways include teaching, cyber security, culinary arts, allied health, law enforcement, automotive and agriculture.

Yaroslav Kulyna followed the cybersecurity pathway after attending a CyberPatriot camp in middle school.

“I really loved it,” Kulyna said.

Cybersecurity is a good field to go into because “people always need to protect their data,” the Grovetown High School senior said. But computers offer more careers than just cybersecurity. “There are a lot of opportunities — computer programming, graphics and design.”

 The fair almost had a different presentation.

At first, Grovetown Elementary wanted to have industry and business professionals speak about their careers, said Brooks Smith, Director of Career, Technical and Agriculture Education for the Columbia County School District.

Yaroslav Kulyna talks about cybersecurity. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Instead, he suggested having the students from Grovetown High School as well as Harlem High School’s agriculture program talk about the different high school pathways.

“These elementary students are closer to that as their next experience instead of being on the job,” he said.

Not only did the event benefit the elementary school students, but the high schoolers participating did as well.

“All employers are interested in soft skills, professional skills,” he said.

The fair gave the high school students a chance to practice their speaking and presentation skills, he said.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at charmain@augustagoodnews.com. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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