NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI STUDENT CAREER EXPOSURE – VIRTUAL CAREER EXPO
Imagine the Possibilities Kick-Off Week October 6 – 8
Virtual Experience for 10th graders: October 2020-March 2021
Yearlong resource for grades 8th – 12th
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed leaders to think outside the box to make sure learning and training can take place in a time of social distancing requirements. Although one option related to events is to push pause completely, there is also the option to revamp and update to best meet the needs of individuals involved, especially when the key stakeholders are students.
The Toyota Wellspring Education Fund (TWEF) at the CREATE Foundation has been the lead sponsor the last five years for an interactive career expo entitled Imagine the Possibilities that allowed 8th grade students in 17 Northeast Mississippi counties to learn about eighteen career pathways. In planning for the 2020-2021 school year, the decision was made in January 2020 to transition to 10th grade students.
Khoula Khamal, a current senior at Tupelo High School, stated the impetus for the move related to “learning more about the courses they can take in high school as well as the job shadowing and internship opportunities they can pick for their career interests.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the TWEF team to veer again to move from an in-person event to a virtual format. “The virtual Career Expo will allow students in eighth through twelfth grade to learn about potential career pathways and dig deeper in their pathways of interest. Although our target population is tenth grade and these students will have the opportunity to win Apple products based on usage of the system, we look forward to this resource impacting more students and serving as a base for a joint in-person and virtual format in the years to come.” stated Albine Bennett, coordinator of Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo.
The virtual format of the Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo will be accessible via a website – www.itpcareerexpo.com – and Imagine the Possibilities app that is accessible via Apple and Android products. Individuals interested in accessing all content will need to create a login that is the same for both avenues. Once logged into the website or app, students are taken to a home screen where they can watch Khoula Khamal and Kyion White share an overview of the interactive experience. Students and parents can then access information all eighteen pathways with each pathway including a pathway overview video, pathway resources, a “day in the life” videos, mentor for a minute clips, and a podcast.
The Toyota Wellspring Education Fund has helped provide Career Coaches to the high schools in the Pontotoc, Union, and Lee counties. These Career Coaches are also highlighted in the virtual Career Expo format as they share tips on the resource page related to how to utilize the YouScience assessment as well as develop a resume, interview, and financial literacy skills.
Major sponsors for the expo include the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund; CREATE Foundation; Toyota Manufacturing; The People’s Bank of Ripley, Renasant Bank, Franklin Corporation, Ross & Yerger, Coca-Cola Corinth, Hardy Reed, BNA Bank, and BNSF Railway. In addition to the major sponsors, there are an additional 20 sponsors from around the region.
2020 Virtual Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo
“When the young people in this state realize the opportunities that are here, they will be grateful for what can be accomplished.” ~George McLean