LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (KERO) — I remember when I was in highschool and I thought about what I was going to do with my life, I became petrified.
It wasn't until I got the chance to meet and speak with a journalist that it started to feel like an achievable goal.
This personal connection is exactly what the first annual Bronco Family College and Career Expo gave Kern Valley High School students.
“I don't really know what I want to do, so I’m really nervous,” said Kern Valley High School Senior Kailyn Shiver.
Shiver says the career fair gave her ideas of what she might be interested in.
“All the people here explain it to each individual person, I thought that was really cool.”
The fair was helpful for both students that weren’t sure of their direction and those that were hoping to learn more about their specific interests.
“I would like to be an interpretive ranger or a national park ranger,” Senior Mikaela Richey said.
Richey spoke with those who work for the U.S Forest Service, which had the largest presence at the career expo.
“I learned about the job requirements for the national parks and national forest service.”
It was this face-to-face interaction that allowed students to get a deeper glimpse into what certain careers entail.
“It’s a very rewarding job. I started when I was eighteen, I actually graduated from here too. I got on the local Kern County hotshot crew when I was eighteen. Loved it!” local firefighter Sean Quezada related to a student.
Law enforcement, cosmetics, restaurants, the military, recreation and health industries were represented, and students were rewarded for the connections they made. As they interacted with various vendors, they filled out a ‘passport’ representing different career fields.
The U.S Forest Services had representatives from all different departments – including firefighting.
“I really enjoy fighting fires up here because it's my community and I want to protect my community.” Lynn Correa, a firefighter for the U.S Forest service said.
Raised in the KRV, Lynn Correa has over 20 years of firefighting experience and spoke with students about the opportunities for growth in her field.
“I had really good mentorship and really good leadership throughout my career with people that believed in me, pushed me, and challenged me into becoming a better version of myself.”
Now a Captain in an elite Helitack crew, Correa is the one doing the pushing.
“Those examples that were taught to me, pass them down so that the tradition continues.”
Those at the job fair got insight into their future.
“It was incredibly helpful who knows, and has already been through the process and knows what they’re doing. They have valuable information shared from firsthand experience,” Richey said.
“I think we should do this every year. This is really nice,” Shiver said.
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