‘Vital’ career exploration for middle school students thanks to Capital Region BOCES students and faculty

At one table, Capital Region BOCES senior Abigail Conaway gauged the vital signs of a Schalmont middle school student while at another table juniors Dylan Pardo, Aaron Fantroy and Lilia Herschkowitz collected the fingerprints of another middle school student.

Three students circle around a teacher in the midst of conversation.
Students Julia Cresswell, Demari Perkins and teacher Ed Henson are captured in conversation.

That was the scene on Thursday as more than a dozen Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education students spoke at the Career Jam at Hudson Valley Community College. The CTE students shared their experiences and passion for the trades careers they are pursuing with about 1,000 middle school students from across the region.

Middle school students from numerous school districts, including Schalmont, South Colonie and Wynantskill, attended the event that was designed to increase interest among youth in jobs and the skilled trades.

Joining dozens of business and professional organizations at the event were faculty and students from the BOCES Automotive Trades Technology; Automotive Collision Repair; Two-Year Sequence of Health Careers; Network Cabling, Wireless Technologies, and Cybersecurity;  Building Trades; Welding and Metal Fabrication; and the Manufacturing and Machining Technology programs.

“This is a great career to pursue, and doing this gives me an opportunity to share what I have learned with others,” Pardo, a Shenendehowa student in the Criminal Justice program, said.

“It’s fun because it’s like teaching, and I enjoy showing others new skills,” added Conaway, a Two-Year Sequence of Health Careers student from South Colonie.