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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

New career opportunities for students at Park

How these opportunities can help students in the future
Clara Bagne
Infographic by Clara Bane

As students register for classes and consider plans following high school, teachers and counselors are encouraging students at Park to join clubs and certain programs that will lead students to further their careers. The program that manages this is called Career Pathways. It gives students at Park the resources to explore new opportunities that will help lead them toward a career or an idea of what they want to do after high school.

College coordinator Kara Mueller said she encourages teachers to help students with a variety of different career options and with discovering what they are interested in.

“What I like to see teachers do is, in whatever content area they are teaching, help the student recognize they could be using this or doing this in a potential career — just quick little nuggets about where would you see this used, who else would want to know this information and why (they should) learn it,” said Mueller. “The other big thing is that I love it when teachers can help identify skills of a student who has found an interest in a certain career option. When students can see the skill sets they’ve gained, they can start connecting them to other areas where they can use those skills. It just helps develop ideas for careers.”

According to business teacher and DECA advisor Abby Lugo, the career pathway program helps students explore and identify the educational and professional choices that Park has to offer. She said this allows students a sense of what opportunities beyond high school look like.

“We try to identify and build career pathways, so students can experience these opportunities while they’re still in high school before they have to leave the building and pay for these experiences outside of their public education grid,” said Lugo. “If they end up going to college or to the workforce, this program can give them a lot of insight into what they want to do.”

Junior Declan Gaines said this program seems very beneficial because it can open up new opportunities for kids that enjoy what they’re doing, giving them direction in what they may want to do in the future.

“I think that this program seems really good. It brings out a lot of different things you can do and different passions that you can find throughout the variety of different options that the program gives,” said Gaines. “I think it really helps kids who maybe don’t know what they want to do after high school.”

According to Mueller, certain classes that students take in the career pathway program can lead to more enjoyment or passion in the career opportunities that they get from the program, leading them to keep pursuing those career options after high school.

“Career Pathways allows students to take electives that let the students know that they potentially are if they take courses in certain classes that can lead to careers in these areas. That’s in the registration process,” said Mueller. “Students that actually work within the career development work with myself or others. They have opportunities to understand the process of aligning themselves to a career and then figuring out the school that matches their goals.”

Lugo said teachers have helped students in this program by providing them with the opportunity to shadow employers in careers they’re interested in, allowing them to be able to see if they like that field or not. According to Lugo, this is a great opportunity to know if there’s a certain field they want to get into.

“There’s lots of different ways that students have been helped. Just this last semester, we helped students get out and do job shadow interviewing in the different career pathways,” said Lugo. “I think some students realize, ‘You know what, I decided I don’t like looking at blood, and so therefore, I don’t think I should go into nursing anymore,’ or ‘maybe I should look into a different part of health care.’ Even putting them in contact with (professional people) and helping them build their own network has been powerful.”

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About the Contributors
Roberto Alvarez, Echo Staffer
Hi, my name is Roberto Alvarez. I am 16 years old and I live in St. Louis Park, and I am in 10th grade. I have an older brother and have two dogs. I love hanging out with my friends and playing soccer. I want to capture immaculate pictures of sports teams and other activities and events at this high school and be a photographer.
Clara Bagne, Echo Staffer
Hi my name is Clara Bagne and I am a junior! This is my first year on Echo! In my free time I like to hang out with friends, I also like to play with my dog. I am looking forward to taking pictures and writing stories about sporting events for the newspaper this year! 

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