On Wednesday, December 2, students throughout Bend-La Pine Schools will learn about opportunities in dentistry, farming, machinery and more during a virtual Career & College Expo featuring colleges, trade schools and local industry experts. The unique event is focused on Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings and was coordinated and organized by two Bend Senior High School students, Sarah Rossi and Liv Slocum, as part of a project for DECA, a marketing and leadership organization at Bend High.
“This event gives high school students an opportunity to not only connect with schools that have CTE programs and degrees, but also with actual career paths,” said Rossi. “The whole point is to get students to see what their future pathway could look like.”
This is the second year for the CTE Career & College Expo, but Rossi and Slocum have transformed it completely to fit into a virtual format (last year’s event took place in person at Bend Senior High). The expo runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and every 30 minutes features a new slate of speakers. Students can sign up via a QR code (see attached flyer) to virtually attend whichever sessions interest them during the expo.
While navigating new technology and communication has been challenging, Rossi and Slocum said one big benefit of the new virtual format is that it allows easy access for students throughout the district to participate. In total, the event will include six industry representatives and 11 colleges that offer CTE programs (including industries such as culinary, aviation, health care and more.)
“Our staff members are passionate about helping students plan for successful futures and we are excited for opportunities like this that allow students to connect with hands-on, high wage, high skill industries,” said Katie Legace, Deputy Superintendent for Bend-La Pine Schools. “We also want to celebrate our two student leaders for organizing this event, which is a huge lift and shows their commitment to their fellow students.”
“I hope we are able to connect students with opportunities they may not have known about and we can help them figure out what they want to do after high school,” said Slocum.
After the expo, the pair will create a 20-page manual based on the event and will present it at an upcoming DECA event.