Learning how to land that job


   STAFF WRITER cshultz@pe.com
   Kieran Christensen was not considering joining the Marine Corps before attending the annual Business Education Summit on Thursday, March 21, at Hemet High School.

   Now he wants to enlist.

   Kieran, 17, a senior at West Valley High, was one of more than 200 San Jacinto Valley high school students who participated in the eighth annual event.

   “It’s good pay, good benefits, a chance to travel,” he said.

   Kieran said the military wasn’t in his thoughts before he talked to a recruiter at the event, which connected high school juniors and seniors with representatives from area employers.

   The goal of the summit is to let students know about 
potential careers and for employers to meet upcoming members of the workforce.

   “I’m hoping just to motivate the kids, get them thinking about the future,” said Hemet High counselor Jeri Jacobs, one of the organizers. “It may turn them on to something they haven’t been exposed to.”

   After listening to a keynote speaker, students went to the gymnasium, where they meet in small groups 
with representatives of 20 career fields. Students were assigned to speakers based on their interests.

   Students came from Hemet, West Valley, Tahquitz, Hamilton, San Jacinto, Alessandro, Mountain View and Helen Hunt Jackson high schools and the California Family Life Center.

   They were encouraged to dress as if they were attending a job interview, and some boys donned suits and ties 
while girls wore skirts and heels.

   Lenore DeJesus, from the California Family Life Center, has been involved since the beginning. The summit was inspired by a group of high school graduates who weren’t going to college and didn’t know where to look for a job, she said.

   “They were lost,” DeJesus said. “We thought they had to talk to some businesses.” 
   She said the summit shows teens what it takes to secure a job.

   “They get a chance to talk to someone whose job they’d like to do,” DeJesus said. “It gives them an opportunity to get first-hand information and knowledge.”

   Jacobs, who also has participated since the beginning, said the event has evolved, with presenters selected based on fields in which the students have shown an interest.

   Careers represented included military, law enforcement 
, health care, automotive repair, retail sales and cosmetology.

   “These are the jobs that our students have when they get out of high school,” Hemet High Assistant Principal Linda Burke said.

   Tyler McCormack, 18, a senior at Alessandro High School, said he now knows what it will take for a career in law enforcement.

   “It’s more of an opportunity for me to learn more about the job I want to do,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to get a better idea of what’s expected of me.”

   Follow Craig Shultz on Twitter @PE_CraigShultz and online at blog.pe.com/hemet

   Chiropractor Roberto Guadamuz, right, talks with students during the eighth annual Business Education Summit on Thursday, March 21, at Hemet High School. More than 200 students from high schools in the San Jacinto Valley took part in the event.

Well-dressed high school students listen intently to an employer’s presentation. After hearing a keynote speaker, students went to the gym and met in small groups with representatives.

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