On Dec. 12, West Philadelphia High School hosted our College & Career Fair. Representatives from national and local colleges, city departments, and businesses filled the gymnasium for a lively morning. Students of all grades had some time to network and learn more about options after graduation.
Promise Corps members had participated in planning and promoting the fair; it was exciting to see things turn out so smoothly. On the day, we helped set-up, greet visitors, brief and debrief with students. We networked alongside our students, gathering information and contacts to help with our coaching and the events we host.
Representatives from diverse organizations gathered at the fair. Higher education institutions included West Chester University, Cabrini University, Penn State, the Community College of Philadelphia, and the University of the Arts. We also had specialized training groups: the Philadelphia Technician Training Institute and Jean Madeline Aveda Institute. Also popular were the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments and National Guards, all of which offer special programs for high schoolers. Finally we had local businesses: Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice and SEPTA.
Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice was an instant hit. Crowds gathered around the table where Siddiq Moore, a well-known business-owner, captivated students with his message about navigating adolescence, staying on track to success, and owning our futures.
“I talked to them about how they’re at a critical point right now,” said Siddiq. “At this time they still able to get help from different people that know them: the guidance counselor, the administration…so my thing was encouraging them to make sure that they take advantage of all of that.”
“I talked to them about how to avoid the trap,” he added. “You know, criminal records and stuff like that.”
Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice is located at 264 S. 60th Street. Treat yourself to some fresh, delicious water ice – we promise it’ll be worth.
Student responses were generally positive. For many, it was their first time attending a fair of this sort. Some said it sparked a new direction, changed their perspective, or informed them of next steps.
“I learned some stuff,” said Michaé Ponton, tenth grade. “I signed up for something with the fire department. Then I talked to the – I don’t know her name – but she works at Penn, and she says she’s gonna try to get me in a program so I could like – I want to be an OBGYN when I get older. She said she’s gonna try to get me in a program.”
Deshawn Goodwin, tenth grade, also found the fair helpful. “It was fun. I got to see how many things I gotta do later…I mean like it is a good way to get kids to notice that they have to do stuff instead of like showing it later…they’re actually letting us get involved before it’s too late and we have to worry about it extra a lot.”
– Ivy Tse, College and Career Coach