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Students connect their dreams to careers, college

Kentwood — Townline Elementary School fifth-grader Owen Worden chatted with Capt. Lori Misch about what it’s like to be a police officer.

“We need good people to do these jobs,” said Misch, who visited Townline from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department for the school’s second annual College/Career Day. 

She told Owen: “Maybe we will meet again someday.”

Owen nodded. He asked Misch about her duties and practiced standing on duty. His dream is to become a police officer or deputy, he said.

The interaction was one of many that students had throughout the day of  exploring careers and college options with professionals who visited their classrooms. Students met 13 employers including a chef, members of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, a fashion designer, lawyer, attorney, machinist and Realtor. 

College representatives came from Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, West Michigan Construction Institute and Kendall College of Art and Design. A Kent ISD representative also talked about career pathways.

“We are trying to plant the seed early on in their lives so they can see what they can do when they get older,” said second-grade teacher Fathiya Mohamed, who led the event. 

Many presenters work in the community and, like Townline students, come from diverse backgrounds.

“As an educator, I’m helping them build their dreams,” Mohamed said. 

Several students posed with photos of themselves holding signs that read what they want to be when they grow up. Fifth-grader Denise Nikus wants to be a sculptor and learned about Kendall College of Art and Design from representatives of the school.  

“I love using clay. You can pretty much make anything you want. I remember I made a star ornament and I also made a dragon,
Denise said. “I’m really good at art. I might be able to get accepted into Kendall.”

Fourth-grader Autumn Noelle wants to be an entrepreneur who owns a hair salon.

“I actually like doing hair. I have a mannequin at home that I bought with my money, and I did some braids.”

Read more from Kentwood: 
Cookin’ it up in new kitchens
One good thing in every day

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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