Students explore their futures at Willard High School

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WILLARD, Mo. — Over 90 community leaders came out to Willard High School for the “Explore Your Future” career event.

Professionals represented a variety of fields, but shared the common goal of preparing the next generation of employees.

“I hope that every one of our students has a little more motivation to find something that they’re passionate about and be successful in that,” said guidance counselor Kimberly Pere. “We want students to hear from the presenters about how they networked, and to go ahead and start that process.”

Breakout sessions allowed nearly 1,300 Willard students to meet with professionals working in their specific fields of interest. Senior Jennifer Abbey enjoyed networking with professionals, and already has her next move mapped out.
“When I found out that I could help people in other ways through firefighting, it just made sense,” said the aspiring first responder.

Abbey met with local firefighter Stefanie Shell, and was able to have some of her questions about a male-dominated industry answered by a woman who paved her own path.
“I can give her full on details of what she may run across or what might be exciting for her to do,” said Shell. “You’ve got to [have] tough skin, you’ve got to know that you want to do it, and be able to listen to what’s going on and learn.”

This was the first time Willard High School presented “Build Your Future” and administrators plan to continue the project every other year, allowing students to experience the event twice before graduating.

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