Queens High School for the Sciences at York College in Jamaica hosted its second annual career day on March 29, inviting professionals from a range of careers.
Chefs, photographers, entrepreneurs, tech gurus and healthcare workers all gave students an outlook on how to achieve what they have.
The high school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate and is nationally ranked in terms of having its students college-ready.
“The career day is a great way to motivate the students and show them what real professionals are,” said QHSS Principal Ana De Jesus. “Last year we just had it for 11th- and 12th-graders but this year we extended it to 9th- and 10th-graders also, so to start them thinking of their own career path.”
Many of the presenters gave an overview of what it is like to be a professional in their fields and also gave students helpful life skills. Students intently paid attention to the information given and asked questions on how to achieve the same level of success.
“I like the fact that you like what you do,” said one of the students to actress and producer Jen Tsay, who, in turn, said what you study isn’t what you always end up doing, and to love what you do.
Christina Lee, pastry chef and former contestant on the TV show “Iron Chef,” told students once you think of your profession, set goals and to make a career path uniquely yours.
“I want students to see that the skills you pick up in life do help them in whatever they choose to do ... college is great to explore many options” said Albert Cheung, a photographer. “I’m not here to direct into a certain career path, but to give a reality of the world we live in.”
Milene Jardin, a chocolatier, gave advice on how to run a successful business and the ins and outs of supply and demand. She also gave one lucky student a taste of one of her choice sample truffles.
Formed in 2002, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College is a public school that specializes in mathematics and science. Students are admitted based on their scores on the specialized high schools admissions test. Although it is a school that is geared towards math and science, De Jesus said that many of her students do have other interests, which is why they try to get a full range of professionals.
“Many of our students do have an interest in the sciences, but many do have interest in the arts and humanities, so that’s why we get people that could connect to them also,” she said.
“These kids are smart and go through many rigorous tests and exams, this event gives them a direction and a focus ... you can see their excitement about what opportunities are out there,” said Michael Sweiven, government and economics teacher at QHSS.