1,000 Students Flock to PUSD College and Career Pathways Fair

School Board Member Kimberly Kenne, Judy Turner, Cyrice Griffith, Superintendent Jon Gundry and Event Coordinator Dr. Marisa SarianJudy Turner, Cyrice Griffith and School Board Member Kimberly KenneDebbie Williams, Raven Bridges, Cheyenne Goddard, Michaela Jordan, Georgina Valasco, and Jeane WardC.A.M.A.D. students Mira and Marlaina Lanz, Samantha Winnen and Gwineth KellerElias Shehadh and Demaree Lowe are interested in attending Santa BarbaraMarisa Sarian and Sangeeta MorarKimberly Mejie, Youth Outreach representative for Flintridge Center with Mark Franco, Outreach Coordinator shared with students an opportunity to do a construction class.Melanie with her dad Lucio Huerta came to the college fair to check out her dream school FIDM.Alexander Ortega, David Lopez, Edwin Madrid, Erika Martinez, and Lupe Jimenez want to continue nursing in college and hope to go to Grand CanyonAmanda Almazan was interested in Le Cordon Bleu, talking with Leslie BarbotDSC08287DSC08300DSC08302DSC08303DSC08304

Article and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG

4:42 am | October 10, 2013

Nearly 1,000 students and parents crowded Pasadena Unified School District’s College Fair and Career Pathways Showcase at the Pasadena Convention Center on Wednesday.

The fair offered 100 colleges for students to browse through as well as a showcase of the eight PUSD Career Pathways and four seminars about the college process and how to finance it.

“It’s only 4:15 and the place is already full,” Fair Coordinator Marisa Sarian said. “It’s an opportunity to put more students in front of colleges, were merging the two events to expose more kids to colleges.”

This college fair was held at the Pasadena Convention Center for the first time. After school programs bussed students over, many students came with their friends, and some with their parents. Sarian said it helped that Pasadena Educational Foundation did so much outreach, visiting every 11th and 12th grade class.

And there’s nothing like healthy competition to get students to attend. The middle school with the highest percentage of students will get a pizza party. For the high school, the first 750 students who came received a passport guide to the fair to show their teachers for extra credit.

“Educational Foundation is always proud to support anything that benefits our students and this is a wonderful opportunity to partner with the Career Pathways and Dr. Sarian to expose our students to colleges and workshops,” Angela Parris

Several 8th graders came to check out the Career Pathways offered by three of the Pasadena High Schools. Eight pathways are offered across three different High Schools including App Academy: Mobile, Web and Game Development; Arts, Entertainment and Media; Business and Entrepreneurship; Creative Arts Media and Design (CAMAD); Culinary Arts and Hospitality; Engineering and Environmental Science; Health Careers, and Law and Public Service.

“It helps you to explore different career pathways that you think you’re interested in,” Judy Turner said, “The idea is you just explore, but you give them real world experiences that help them make good choices.”

Turner goes out into the business community to recruit participation for guest speakers, job opportunities, internships, and field trips in the business world for the students. She said it is all about helping them overcome barriers to go to college, especially students who may be the first person in their family to go to college.

Currently about 30 percent of the high school student population is enrolled in a pathway, but Turner says they hope to bring it up to 60 percent.

“It gives you a lot of feeling of what different arts are. Sometimes people stick to their sketchbook, but we actually use charcoal, pastels, paints, pen and ink, and it helps you explore,” sophomore Samantha Winnen saidn who is enrolled in the CAMAD program.

Some students came knowing exactly which college they wanted to go to and simply wanted more information about that college or university. Elias Shehadh and Demaree Lowe both want to attend Santa Barbara and Melanie Huerta came with her dad to learn more about FIDM.

“We really only came for FIDM. It’s her dream to go there,” Lucio Huerta said.

Others like the students enrolled Health Careers Pathway found out about Grand Canyon University for the first time and were sold. Hector Rodas, a junior at Marshall had no idea what college he might attend, but after the college fair he had narrowed to four universities that fit his goals.