The Henderson Chamber of Commerce created its I Can Be program to better equip freshmen with a plan that could help them achieve their career goals.
After several years at Foothill High School, the program is scheduled to come to Silverado High School, 1650 Silver Hawk Ave., from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 14.
Rebecca Fay, foundation administrator with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Leadership Henderson program, said the program started in 2008 as a way to show freshmen other career options.
“Students often think of career options like teachers, lawyers or doctors, but there are other options,” she said.
I Can Be sheds light on some of those opportunities.
At the event, students break into 16 areas of interest, including agriculture; food and natural resources, architecture and construction; education and training; government and public administration; health science; hospitality and tourism; human services, information technology, law and public safety; manufacturing; marketing; science, technology, engineering and math; transportation, distribution and logistics; business management; and art, audio and visual technology and communications.
People representing the various industries set up booths and interact with the students.
More than 800 people typically participate at the event, Fay said.
“This is one of those events we take pride in,” said Scott Muelrath, CEO and president of the chamber. “After the event, you see the light bulb come on for a lot of the ninth-graders. It makes them aware of all the possibilities.”
Jeanne Donadio, principal at Foothill High School, said the mission of the I Can Be program already fit what was happening at the school.
“Our focus is on career and college readiness,” she said. “We help students decide on classes that will be beneficial for the future and keep them on track.”
By the time students become sophomores, they are taking specific classes, whether it’s in Internet technology or other fields, that could help them in their next phase of life.
Instead of just relying on teachers to talk to students, Donadio likes having professionals from the community give firsthand accounts on what has helped them.
“I Can Be mirrors what is already going on,” she said. “Professionals can talk about entry-level employment and give (the students) suggestions.”
The program was hosted in February at Foothill High School.
Donadio said it is better to have it during freshman year before students register for the next year.
“If we did it when they were juniors or seniors, it could be too late,” she said. “They might have already taken the wrong classes and not have known it.”
Donadio has seen the benefits over the years.
“It helps the students become more focused,” she said. “Just having a conversation with them is different.”
When the program was looking to expand, Donadio said she recommended Silverado High School.
After each event, Fay said the chamber has sought student feedback after the event.
This is first year the chamber is planning to do an essay contest for students to talk about their experiences with the program.
Fay said it would be nice to expand the program but doesn’t know how possible it is because of the time commitments and volunteers it takes.
In the meantime, she is excited to now have I Can Be in two schools.
For more information, visit hendersonchamber.com.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 702-387-5201.