Exploring Paths to the Future

Exploring Paths to the Future photo

With the question, “What does my future entail?” prevalent in their minds, hundreds of Three Village Central School District students and families gathered to participate in an educational, interactive career fair.

Sponsored by the Three Village Industry Advisory Board, also known as 3V-IAB – a new partnership between the Three Village Central School District and local businesses – the program was the first in a series of initiatives designed to bridge the skills gap between education and 21st-century employers. 

Over 40 Long Island businesses were present during the Ignite Your Career…Discover Your Opportunities career fair, and representatives spoke with attendees about fields such as technology, finance, sports management, engineering, health care, hospitality and much more. To make this a meaningful experience for all students, a “career DNA” analysis was provided to students in grades 7-12 to reveal relevant career paths that correspond to their unique personalities. A student’s career DNA guided them toward careers that were spotlighted at the fair. Based on a student’s career DNA results, they then had the opportunity to engage with businesses from across Long Island to discover and ignite their passions.

“This event will ultimately help Three Village students to identify elective courses that are stepping stones into their areas of interest,” said 3V-IAB coordinator and Ward Melville High School business teacher Ilene Littman. “Businesses that were represented informed students of their personal journeys to enable them to find clarity and direction toward college majors and careers.”

The development of the 3V-IAB came about with the onset of Ward Melville’s new work-based learning program called Career Jump Start. This is an elective course that teaches students career exploration/planning, essential pre-employment skills, job success skills, professionalism and ethics as well as teamwork and leadership. Based on a student’s interests and skill set, they are also placed in job shadowing and/or an internship to provide them with real workplace experiences and to help confirm if their desired interests are meeting their expectations before embarking on study in these fields. The 3V-IAB was initially formed to create business partners to help support hands-on student experiences in this program.

“The 3V-IAB and the district as a whole is hoping to open new doors for our students, to have them realize the multitude of career options that exist for them and enlighten them to the sometimes nontraditional ways that people discover their passions and associated careers,” Ms. Littman said. “Students should also realize that our enriching electives program at Ward Melville is a great starting point, and should be taken advantage of, to assist students in discovering their passions, which will increase their chances for successful college and career paths.”