Madison College Recruitment and Community Outreach, along with Edgewood College, will be hosting three Youth College & Career Fair for high school students throughout the district that will focus on three different communities: African American, Latino and Asian. The first one will take place this Thursday, Jan. 30.
At the fairs, high school students will participate in a day-long program of career and college exploration, breakout sessions that are focused on specific careers, and a session with information on what the students need to do in high school in order to pursue their interest.
“First and foremost, it’s a chance for young people to come onto our campus and check out what Madison College is all about,” James Lanouette, Recruitment Coordinator at Madison College, tells Madison 365. Lanouette is helping to organize the fairs along with the whole Recruitment and Community Outreach team at Madison College. “But then also an opportunity to go out to breakout sessions with people from their communities coming out and talking to the students about many different things: being out in the workforce, managing money and looking at loans or something about the college process as a whole.”
Students will also have the opportunity to visit college information tables. The Youth Career and College Fair Planning Committee (YCCF) have identified several broad career areas that will be the focus of the events.
“There will be people there who will be able to talk to students about working in a certain field or helping them with money management,” Lanouette says.
The Asian Youth Career and College Fair kicks off all of the fairs this Thursday, Jan. 30. It will be followed by the African American Youth Career and College Fair on Friday, Feb. 13 and the Latino Youth Career and College Fair on Thursday, March 19.
The 2020 YCCF keynote speakers, all important leaders who are making an impact on their respective communities, will be Annabelle Vang, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, and Sandy Morales.
“At each fair, we have a great keynote speaker – a speaker that looks like them who has gone out into the real world and has been very successful,” Lanouette says. “We have a variety of people from around the state this year. That’s exciting. Annabelle Vang is from the Milwaukee area, Sandy Morales is from here [Madison.] Mandela Barnes is working with the whole state of Wisconsin.
“It kind of shows the students the unlimited access that they have and the possibilities,” he adds.
Annabelle Vang will highlight the Asian YCCF on Jan. 30. Originally from central Illinois, Vang completed her undergraduate studies in communications at Bradley University. A graduate of Marquette Law School, Vang is part of the Kowalski Family Law team here in Madison.
Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor, will highlight the African American YCCF. He is the first African-American to serve as a Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin, and the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.
Sandy Morales is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, where she creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth by developing positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.
Lanouette says that community members are welcome to participate as a volunteer guest presenter at the events and share with students the education and training required to work in their particular career area. Community members can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for any specific questions.
“We are always looking for volunteers to come and talk to the students,” Lanouette says. “For students who want to attend, the schools are setting up different bussing. So they can talk to their school counselors.”
The Youth Career and College Fairs are only open to current high school juniors and seniors.
“It’s a fun and informative day. It’s a chance to meet and talk to students from other schools as well,” Lanouette says. “It’s a chance to network and meet people from the community that they can ask questions to. This year will be a really unique opportunity with [Lt. Gov.] Mandela [Barnes] coming in. You don’t get a chance to sit down and listen to somebody that high up in the government that often.”