By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance
Through a program arranged by Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, 29 students from Enfield High School, High School, Inc.: Hartford’s Insurance and Finance Academy, and Middletown-based technical high school Vinal Tech participated in an the JA’s annual Career Walk on Thursday morning.
The students began and ended their Career Walk at the MetroHartford Alliance. They broke out into two groups; one visited Murtha Cullina, the XL Center, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Painting with a Twist. The other group toured the Hartford Society Room, Robinson+Cole, Travelers Insurance, and Webster Bank.
“These programs are so important because we want to inspire these young people as they think about their futures and the types of opportunities available to them,” said Joshua Kelley, Education Manager with Junior Achievement of Southwest New England. “We want students to be able to make good choices and help them be successful as they go forward.”
“Our school is focused on workplace learning and career readiness. We appreciate the opportunities for students to take their classroom knowledge out into the real-world. High school-aged kids are trying to figure out what their interests are, career-wise. Through these types of experiences, they can engage with professionals who are applying their skills and degrees and finding career opportunities based on their interests,” noted Rey Bermudez, Director of Business Partnerships and Development at High School, Inc.
After the Career Walk, the Alliance spoke with several students to hear what they gained from the experience.
Angelmarie Carrion, a student from Enfield High School said she enjoyed touring PricewaterhouseCoopers. “They explained a lot of really good benefits to working with them, like help paying off student loans—some good ideas for young students to think about for their future.”
Kacynthia Clay from Enfield High School and Noah Calovis from Vinal Tech were both inspired by their visit to Painting with a Twist. “The owner gave you a visual about what it’s like to own your own business and how he figured things out on his own,” explained Kacynthia. “He had a lot of good things to say about how to set a goal, and how to follow through, and how to make your way through life and be successful,” added Noah.
High School, Inc. student Jesus Ortiz noted, “I liked visiting the Travelers building because I learned about actuaries and what they do.”
Junior Achievement of Southwest New England provides volunteer-based programming for kindergarten through 12th grade students. The programs use experiential learning and encourage career readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills 47,000 Connecticut students each year.