Career Night last night was our biggest yet! We had 18 professionals from a wide variety of careers (lawyer, research scientist, nurse, IT specialist, cabinet maker, financial analyst, consultant…the list goes on), and 41 students present. After breaking the ice over some pizza and a game, students settled in to talking with the volunteers in small groups. This year we tried a new format: each volunteer had a sign at their table with their job on it and we gave students the choice of which volunteers they wanted to talk to, and then we rotated the volunteers from room to room periodically so that students could get to talk to all of the volunteers present. (A complaint in the past has been that they only get to see and talk to a small selection of the volunteers) Every time we rotated, the kids protested loudly because they wanted to keep their conversations going! Luckily at the end we had a little time for mingling in case any kids wanted to come back to someone they didn’t get to talk to, and a few took advantage of this, exchanging emails and asking a couple last questions before heading home for the night. I was really impressed with how seriously the students treated this event, especially compared to in the past – I didn’t hear complaints about not getting to have squash practice, I saw students rotating independently from their friends (including some surprising ones: Jahresse, Ismaila, Lyrick!), and just overall engaging deeply with the volunteers.
Most of the volunteers were new to StreetSquash and hadn’t been here before, and many expressed interest in remaining involved – thank you to all the staff for helping bring in such great people!
And thanks to Jenn, Mark, Will, and Clare for staffing the event and ensuring everything ran smoothly.
-Cici, Senior Director of College Access and Success