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9th Graders Explore their Futures at Career Fair

By Cris Sporl ‘25, Animas Quill  

This past Wednesday February 7th, the freshpeople of Animas High School got to explore potential future careers by having the opportunity to speak to professionals from a variety of fields at the annual 9th Grade Explore Career Fair.

Work Based Learning Coordinator Elliot Baglini led this event for the students with hopes of preparing 9th graders and introducing new and potential interests through these diverse professional offerings. He shared, “The 9th grade Explore Career Fair is to give our 9th graders an opportunity to speak to professionals from a variety of fields and allow for our students to practice professional communication skills with adults other than their teachers.”

Many different industries and professions from the Durango area were represented at the Fair. Elliot was grateful for the great participation of local professionals, stating: “We're lucky to have diverse professional offerings in the Durango area and our fair participants reflect that - from filmmaking to outdoor marketing to a surgeon and pediatric oncologist to an ocean engineer and avalanche forecasters for the Colorado Department of Transportation.” 

At Animas, college and career preparation is highly valued, and we want the freshpeople to personally take something away from this experience. Elliot stated his hopes to expose students to new ideas and interests: “I hope they leave excited to continue exploring the possible professions that are available to them after (and maybe even during) high school! To see what's out there in our area, and that they may not know they're interested in something until they start exploring it!.”

The representatives of the careers shown there aimed to be very interactive with students. Freshperson Kalli Bane shared what was enjoyable and memorable about this fair: “I enjoyed the many options they had for us - I learned about new things and opportunities I wasn't aware of before.” 

Elliot continued, “Many young people just haven't been exposed to many jobs outside of what their caregivers do and maybe what they see on TV - and there are lots of misconceptions around what jobs are available in our area and what it takes to start pursuing those jobs. Introducing 9th graders to professionals now help break down those barriers and get them to see what's out there, and how to take the first step towards those careers.”

Thanks to all of the community partners that came in to help our freshpeople envision their futures! 

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