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Ridgeland Primary School students exposed

Careers Day is all about transforming mindsets and embracing opportunities to financial empowerment during 6th Annual National Career Awareness Month
  • Andrew Burrows, proprietor of My Sponge Bahamas, discusses the process that has to be taken to harvest sponges and its uses with a Ridgeland Primary School student during the school’s Careers Day. ALETHA COOPER

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Oct 30, 2013

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Ask any primary school-aged kid what they want to do with their lives when they grow up, and for the most part, the answer is the standard — police officer, nurse, teacher — response but during Career’s Month, Ridgeland Primary school sought to transform the minds of the children by exposing them to other career options during the school’s first Career Day.

“The idea came about in speaking with the students, they continue to say to you when you ask them about the job they want to have when they’re through with school and for the most part they couldn’t tell you. They think teachers, police officers, customs officers, nurses and that sort of thing. Sometimes you get the same answers, and sometimes you get no response,” said Chryslee Rolle, the school’s guidance counselor and Career Day organizer.

Under the theme “Transforming Mindsets and Embracing Opportunities to Financial Empowerment” on Tuesday, October 22, schools across the country recognized Careers Day which was a part of the calendar of events for the 6th Annual National Career Awareness Month organized by the Guidance Counseling Unit, Special Services Section of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

The purpose of the exercise was to expose students, parents, educators and the community to job opportunities that would be available in the future, and as such because their day was geared towards preschool through sixth grade students, Rolle added the words “in the future” to her school’s theme which she called a career explosion.

“We have a JA (Junior Achievers) program at our school, and the area that we covered in JA last year was our community. It helped the kids understand more of the different types of jobs available and how a community is run through the hierarchy. That was my main reason for wanting to do a career explosion because it tied in with our JA program,” said Rolle.

Ridgeland Primary had eight vendors that showed during the day — Royal Bahamas Police Force fire branch, Royal Bahamas Police Force canine unit, Marlene McKinney from Healthy Foods, Doyle Rolle showed graphics, Philip Ferguson from Dragon Pet Store, Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) with jewelry, sponge, straw craft, along with information from the guidance department, social workers and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre dealing with adolescent health.

According to Rolle it was evident which booths captured the kids’ attention as they flocked to and lingered around the graphics booth, the healthy foods booth and the BAIC booth.

“A week later, the kids are still burning from last week’s event,” said Rolle. “They love the computer and now know that there are different jobs that can come about as a result of the computer and not just using it to get into mischief, or territories that they are not to be in.”

The guidance counselor said the students’ morale, and even that of the teachers and support staff seems to be boosted since that day.

“The kids have been asking questions like when will it be held again, or is it possible the lady that did the food can come back another day, or if the gentlemen that did the graphics can come back again,” she said.

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