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Junior Achievement to hold 2nd annual career exploration event

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What if you could be the one person to truly make a difference in the future of our local children?

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore hopes to do just that at its second annual JA Inspire event in February when its bring the entire eighth-grade population of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset, Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot counties to the Ocean City Convention Center. That’s 3,000 eighth-graders in one place for the day.

“JA Inspire is not a career fair,” said JLisa Thornton, AES development manager. “It’s a career exploration event where kids can truly see hands-on, experiential displays from local businesses. The goal is for students to see what it’s really like to go into all these different careers. For example, what does a plumber really do, what does a nurse really do, what does that job look like day in and day out? Because, how can you truly choose a career, if you don’t know what that looks like?”

Many local students are not receiving career mentorship at home, so JAES has made it its mission to expose all these students to the world of work that exists here on the Eastern Shore. The event will occur right before the eighth-graders are picking their high school coursework. So if students want to pick a CTE program, they can do so; if they know their desired career requires strong geometry skills, they can pay careful attention during that class. It all helps make the student’s high school career more relevant and fruitful.

JAES is looking for 125 businesses to attend this event, to show students about all the high-wage, high-demand careers that exist right in their backyard. Local community colleges, universities and apprenticeship programs also will be present to help students connect the dots on what skills and education they need for their future careers.

“You don’t have to go to college to be successful,” JAES President Jayme Hayes said. “But you have to do something after high school. Our hope is that every student leaves this event with a game plan for their future.”

If you’re interested in attending this event, you can find out more on JAES’ website, www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-easternshore/ ja-inspire.

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