Program encourages Fairfield students to explore career options

It’s a question many children are asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

About 200 Fairfield Freshman School students explored that question Thursday at Butler County organizations during a program presented by Junior Achievement of OKI Partners.

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“A lot of the studies say that between fifth- and eighth-grade is when students start making the decision about where they want to go, and certainly by their ninth-grade year they now have to be choosing which education pathway they want to be starting down through their high school career, and on, either into college or into the workforce,” said Carol Lucio, District Manager with Junior Achievement of OKI Partners.

About 20 of the students visited Fairfield Twp. to learn about local government, including police and fire work.

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“It is all about educating our youth and our future,” said Fairfield Twp. Administrator Julie Vonderhaar.

Junior Achievement is just another opportunity for students to begin that process of mapping out their future, said Fairfield City Schools spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher.

“This experience gives them a picture of what is available to them, whether it be college, a trade or entrepreneurship,” she said. “It also provides a lens into other aspects of the future, such as financial literacy and the steps they need to take to ensure their goals are met. We believe it is important to share the best opportunities for our students, and this includes the programs of Junior Achievement.”

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By the end of the year, more than 2,000 students in Butler and Warren counties will have participated in the Junior Achievement’s career exploration day program, said Lucio

This is up from the near 1,800 students that participated last year, she said.

The program is designed “to expand their minds on what their future opportunities might be,” she said.

Students are encouraged to go to places they may not have considered previously, or heard about “because you never know what might be a career path,” Lucio said. “And there’s a lot of jobs where you can use the same set of transferable skills from one to another.”

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