Job fair encourages students to consider workforce opportunities

Hundreds of high school students got a jump start on entering the job market during a special job fair that took place from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 7 in the mini gym at Temecula Valley High School.

The event was the second to take place at the high school in two years and more than 85 employers and organizations came to give students tips on the best way to put together resumes and go in for interviews, according to La Verne Williams-Schoonover.

Williams-Schoonover, a college and career counselor at the high school, said the event came out of what was a community service fair.

In order to graduate from TVHS, students must meet a community service requirement where they complete 40 hours or more of community service over the course of their high school career.

The community service fair pooled together a wide number of organizations in the area that students could network with and find the community service opportunities that fit them best, according to Williams-Schoonover.

“We went out into the community, we knocked on all these doors and we got 66 nonprofit organizations to come to our Community Service Connection Fair and that’s in the fall,” Williams-Schoonover said. “From that, this was launched.”

The career counselor said she went through the same group of non-profit organizations that she worked with for service opportunities to find employers who would be willing to connect with students.

“We want them (students) to have that confident feeling when they’re walking in there that they know they can achieve something they’re really interested in and they really want to explore,” she said. “So it’s nice that every single one of these individuals is donating their time so that these kids can prepare their way to healthy transitions in the work force or into trade school.”

One of the booths set up at the event was an internship opportunity where civically-minded students could apply to intern for State Senator Joel Anderson.

Anderson, who represents California’s 36th senate district, has an office in Temecula.

College intern David Hussain was leading the effort to encourage high school students to try interning for Anderson. He said he was looking to encourage students with diverse interests to get involved with the Anderson’s program because it was so multi-faceted. “The internship program is really flexible,” Hussain said. “We understand that students do have other goals in life and we don’t try to impede on that and that’s why the internship program really caters to the interns themselves.

The college intern said he thinks programs that allow students to intern early are important because they allow those students to learn more about themselves and their passions.

“I think that’s really the most important thing for me, is that I got into this after high school rather than before because I found something that I’m interested in later on,” he said. “But you know, everyone’s different and everyone has to go through their journey.”

“And that’s why I’m here now, is to give that one student the opportunity to be involved with something they may have never thought they might be interested in,” he said.

At the end of an event to get students excited about possible jobs, State Senator Anderson’s office presented several students with awards for community service.

Those students were Samantha Blakenship, Sara Cortez, Eric Kolar, Victoria Williamson, Austin George and Erich Lauk.

The students stood together at the event in acceptance of their awards as their fellow classmates clapped for them.

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