The Community Education Center’s (CEC) DISCOVER Partnership teamed up with the Western PA Conservancy, the Ridgway Record, and Penn State Extension 4H for the Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School (FSG) 5th Grade Career Day on a beautiful day in Ridgway.

Students began the day with an “Escape the Career Box” activity presented virtually by CEC Program Manager Amy Goode. Through the activity, students learned how to work as a team while learning the importance of identifying their personality, skills, and interests when exploring careers for their future.

Kylie Maland from the Western PA Conservancy and her interns, Lindsay Steis and Nick Daghir, then had students rotate through stations trying activities they would do as Environmental managers. Students got to prepare a “live stake” and take it home with them to plant and watch it grow into a tree. They also examined the various insect larvae collected from nearby streams and competed in a relay race that demonstrated the importance of riparian (streamside) trees.

Brian D. Stockman from the Ridgway Record shared his career pathway, which to the amazement of the students, also included hotel management throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, with the Maldive Island off the coast of India as being the most remote and exotic location. But the most questions from the students came about his 15 years in Alaska, where he adopted his sons and managed hotels featured in the Discovery Channel shows "Deadliest Catch" and "Bering Sea Gold." The Ridgway Record provided each student a copy of the Elk County guide that is printed by the Ridgway Record, which provides data and highlights within the county. Brian spoke of the importance of the hospitality and tourism industry to the community and asked students what they love about our community. He spoke of the kindness and caring presence in the community and encouraged volunteerism.

Students then created posters showcasing something they enjoy doing in the community. Posters will be on display at the Ridgway Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street for visitors to see what their town has to offer. Students completed their afternoon working as a team to complete an “Amazing Race” Challenge presented by Natalie Aiello and her intern, Kelsey Benjamin, from the Penn State Extension 4H. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the students enjoyed getting out of the classroom to enjoy some fresh air.

This event was sponsored by the Community Education Center’s DISCOVER Partnership, The Stackpole Hall Foundation, The Mee Foundation (ALLSTATE), Workforce Solutions for North Central PA Business Education Partnership, and a Grant from the PA Department of Labor and Industry. If you would like to share your career pathway or showcase your company with local students and be part of next year’s school programs, please contact Amy Goode at the CEC (814) 781-3437 cec@communityedcenter.com.

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