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Homer students explore dozens of careers

     What kind of career would you like to pursue? What kind of training and education do you need to pursue it? About 190 students from Homer Junior High School explored those questions last week during a Career Day celebration held at the OCM BOCES McEvoy campus in Cortland.
     Thirty-nine professionals, including instructors from OCM BOCES, volunteered their time to share their expertise about possible careers. Students, in turn, donned their best job-interview attire as they traveled from classroom to classroom, listening to the speakers, taking notes and asking questions.
     Presenters included a veterinarian, an architect, a photographer, an interior designer, a theater professional and more. Students and teachers at OCM BOCES also shared their knowledge of potential careers such as welding, health occupations and automotive collision technology.
     Tom Turck, principal at Homer Junior High, said the second-annual event exposed students to potential careers and the training and education needed to get into those fields. He also praised the hands-on experiences for students, such as trying their hand at welding and seeing a plasma cutter in action (see below). He credited Home & Careers teacher Barb Bachmann and school counselor Stacy Bell for working with OCM BOCES to make the day happen.
Here are some photos from the event:
At left: Architect Anthony Lapczynski from VIP Structures in Syracuse talked to students about the wide range of projects he tackles as part of his job and the complicated factors that go into designing a building. Here he is showing students his firm's architectural plans for a new OCM BOCES facility near Albany. At left: OCM BOCES welding instructor Kevin Auyer talked to students about welding and the top attributes that employers look for when hiring: punctuality, positive attitude and working cooperatively with others. Here he shows the students a plasma cutting machine.
A U.S. Army recruiter from Cortland, Sgt. Wesley Brizendine, explained what a typical day might be like in the Army and what the mental and physical training entails. Brizendine said the Army requires discipline but also opens up doors to many exciting jobs.
Students from Homer pose with a "Homer Trojans" placard that was created from a plasma cutter inside the welding classroom at OCM BOCES in Cortland. Students were able to get hands-on experiences as well as listen to professionals during a recent Career Day at the McEvoy campus.
Students listened to potential careers in the wide-ranging health occupations field by traveling among tables set up by OCM BOCES students. Standing from left to right at the trauma table are Homer eighth-graders Lauren Walling, Maurice Darling and Hope Comfort. Sitting at the desk is OCM BOCES student Elaina Weisboldt. Homer science teacher Beth Krauss discussed a myriad of possible careers that are possible with a degree in biology, including many non-traditional careers such as hearing aid specialist, guide dog trainer, soil conservationist, virologist and more.

Dr. Nikki Clifford, a Cortland veterinarian, showed students an X-ray of a cat that was having difficulties going to the bathroom. Clifford discussed all facets of the profession, including the extremely high cost of college that leaves many vet students with as much as $170,000 to $350,000 in debt by the time they are done.
Professional photographer Marnie Carter of Syracuse talked about all aspects of her business and shared some of the history of photography, including an old-time camera used by her grandmother. She said she is lucky that her passion is also her job.