Students explore the future at career fair

Anne Marie Amacher
Dan Myers with public safety at the Quad Cities International Airport in Moline, Ill., shows Gage Gleize and Aiden Northup a spreader used for extractions if needed in an emergency.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — Eighth-grade students from Scott County Catholic Schools learned about a variety of career possibilities during a career fair March 1 at St. Ambrose University. Besides visiting with different vendors, boys met with Father Andrew Rauenbuehler, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport and chaplain at Assumption High School. The girls met with Sister Anthony Worrell, OSF. Students also listened to a presentation by St. Ambrose students on balancing school, work, study time and activities. Mass rounded out the day.

Lourdes Catholic School in Bettendorf and All Saints, John F. Kennedy and St. Paul the Apostle Catholic schools in Davenport participated in the event. The students met with vendors representing 38 different professions in the areas of education, medicine, law enforcement, emergency response and trades, among other careers, said Lourdes’ counselor Leigh Johnson.

Prior to the career fair, students completed a form to determine their top career choices to investigate at the career fair. School staff strived to ensure that the students had an opportunity to check out at least five of their higher choices.


At the Rock Island (Illinois) Arsenal law enforcement table, Chief Stephen Kira and Detective Bobby Kern talked about working at the military installation. They displayed tactical gear and allowed the students to use the various cuffs that the officers use to detain suspects. Students Mason Tolle of St. Paul the Apostle and Keegan Alvarez of All Saints practiced using and wearing cuffs. They did ask first whether the key was available to unlock the cuffs.

Students Aiden Northup of John F. Kennedy and Gage Gleize of St. Paul learned about Quad Cities Inter­national Airport careers, although Aiden is interested in becoming a professional athlete and Gage wants to be a video game designer.

Kaia Colvin, who works for Allegiant Air and for charter flights, talked about her various responsibilities: ramp agent, customer service, checking in passengers, loading and unloading luggage, among other things. “At the airport you never do the same thing every day,” she said. “I don’t sit at a desk every day. I like the fast pace.”

Dan Myers works in public safety for the airport. “The days go by quickly,” he said. He displayed a spreader, which can be used to make a hole in a car or airplane for extraction, if necessary. Although portable, the spreader weighs about 60 pounds, which Aiden and Gage both picked up. They agreed it was heavier than expected.

Student Alison Jauron of John F. Kennedy described the career fair as fun and said it allowed her to learn about different options but also provided additional information to solidify her career choice — a labor and delivery nurse.

Preparing students for the future is something that Johnson begins when they are in sixth grade. Students complete a research project and make a PowerPoint presentation. In seventh grade, they learn to write a resume and do mock interviews with classmates. In eighth grade, they talk more about different career options and prepare for the career fair.

Emma Wolf, student specialist at JFK, said that because of the interest in careers in law enforcement and as first responders, those departments were asked to consider hosting tables with specialties within the police department, such as crime scene investigation and detective work.

She appreciated the St. Ambrose students’ presentation because it included information about how to search for scholarships, financial aid and work study. “There are resources all around,” she said.

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