By Melissa Blaise, City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps member
Ten professionals, possible extra credit and free pizza had 49 McLain students interested in attending the Dare to Inspire Career Fair, but most did not anticipate being inspired. The initial set up of the event was for a group of students to interact with a professional for 15 minutes, answer some questions from a list we provided, then rotate. We had a variety of professionals to choose from including lawyers, writers and even the assistant to the mayor. This variety of professionals, mixed with some old jazz tunes, made for the ideal environment.
As the point person for this event, I was worried about a lack of attendance and asked myself, “Will the students take this seriously and actually learn something from this night?” My worries were slowly put to rest when my fellow City Year AmeriCorps members told me that students were enjoying the event and talking about their future in a positive manner. Marissa Carico, a fellow City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps member, said, “One of my students attended the Dare to Inspire Career Fair and came up to me afterward exclaiming that he wanted to become a registered nurse; his inspiration for his future inspired me!”
One Team Leader, Katy Mullins, remarked, “I felt like all the students were really engaged at the event, which was really encouraging to see. I also heard a student say that they didn't know there were so many career options after they left high school. I think this was especially encouraging to hear because I feel like sometimes students think their options are limited and the event showed them otherwise.”
With the help of my team and the five City Year Tulsa volunteers from other schools, the event was a success. Special Thanks to Tanner and Katie from Sequoyah Elementary School, and Sarah, Maïté and Jessica from Rogers College Jr. High for supporting the Dare to Inspire Career Fair. With all of our hard work, we were able to create inspiration within our students and AmeriCorps members alike.