Opportunity Alert: explore potential careers

By Annalena Eckton, Reporter

For the students out there with hopes of working in a particular field post-graduation, there are many programs that give you hands-on career experience while still in high school. Participating in these programs not only gives you skills for future jobs, but also connects you with professionals and can help boost your resume. Even if you’re not set on one career path yet, work and internship experience in any field teaches you how to interact in a professional setting and learn from mentors. Those skill sets are applicable to any job.

The Ace Mentoring Program
ACE is a completely free after school mentorship program for individuals interested in architecture, construction and engineering. With meetings once a week for three months, participants get the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the Portland area. Activities include visiting workplaces, connecting subjects learned in school to real life situations, and designing an entire building project to be constructed. You learn how to network and pitch ideas, which culminates at the program’s finale where you pitch your project to an audience. ACE qualifies juniors and seniors for college scholarship opportunities as well. Sixteen Oregon seniors received $64,000 in scholarship money last year after completing the program. Three of these were Cleveland students. The deadline for applications is Nov. 24. Contact Heidi Sause for more information.

Providence Outreach Program
Providence offers free programs that prepare students for careers in health care. They seek to inspire students to pursue careers in the medical field through experiential learning. On-site options include career exploration days, surgical viewings and career building workshops, and students can get advice from medical experts in the form of mock interviews and resume reviews. Some of these options can contribute to high school graduation requirements.

Portland Workforce Alliance (PWA)
PWA is a local nonprofit organization that aims to meet Oregon’s workforce needs by helping young people find job opportunities. They work with regional employers to educate students about potential career paths. The group believes that career-learning keeps teens engaged while in high school, increases graduation rates, and inspires students to pursue higher education. PWA offers a support system and well trained advisors for anyone looking for work or career advice. Published on their website is a list of all the “Career Days” they offer to Portland Public School students. These allow you to go onsite with employers, see workplaces all over Portland, and hear insights and advice from current workers.

Upcoming events:
Nov. 5: Puppet Labs Career Day (technology, software engineering, entrepreneurship, business)
Nov. 18: Mercy Corps Career Day
(international development)
Nov. 19: Wieden+Kennedy Career Day
(creative advertising, design, writing, project managing)