Career Panels with a Twist

By Kaylene Sheran


Summer vacation for some means spending time at the beach, but for youth at ZUMIX, it means scrambling to find summer employment, spending hours upon hours on perfecting college applications, and thinking about the future. One way that many youth and community members began focusing on their futures this summer was through attending the first of four Summer Speaker Series events this past Friday.

The Summer Speaker Series is a series of “how to” events where professionals in various industries come together at ZUMIX to speak to members of the audience about what their jobs entail on a day-to-day basis. These events were organized in an effort to help the community with exploring various careers in which they may be interested.

This week’s “how to” event was “How To Find A Path You Love Even If You Don’t Know What You Love”. At this panel, we had professionals from various industries such as education, marine science, digital technology, and computer science. Based on the enthusiasm that every panelist showed when speaking about how they got on the career path that they are on today, it was obvious that our panelists truly loved what they do.

Some panelists, such as marine scientist Caitlin Shea-Vantine, who calls herself the “fish enthusiast”, knew that she had an interest in studying aquatic animals from a young age. However, Ashely Harton-Powell, an academic coach, didn’t realize that she had an interest in working with youth until she did some trial-and-error through going to a health careers based high school and realizing that the medical field wasn’t for her. At the end of the event, the audience was eager to ask numerous additional questions to the panelists and breaking into small groups. At the end of the panel, one of the panelists, Caitlin, even got the opportunity to explore another path that she seemed to love; music! She got to jam out with ZUMIX youth, Juan Gutierrez.

Overall, the first panel of the Summer Speaker Series went extremely well and we are all looking forward to meeting the panelists at our upcoming panels! The next Summer Speaker Series event will be on July 21st from 6-8pm.

Our next event will be “How To Use Art For Healing”, and we have artists who specialize in music, body language, performing arts, DJing, and visual arts. All Summer Speaker Series events are free and open to the public! We hope that you will be able to attend!

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