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West Catholic High School

ABC Career Fair

Our mission is to prepare students for life - but what does life look like beyond West Catholic Prep?  Many of our students go on to college after graduating, but for others college isn’t the right fit. Yostin Nunez, 10th grade, is one of those students. “I really want to join the Air Force and learn more about what that means after high school.”

Enter the “Anything but College” or ABC fair, hosted jointly by the West Catholic Preparatory High School Guidance Department and the West Catholic High School Alumni Association. Jacqueline Joyce, Our Director of Graduate Support said “The vision for the first annual Career and Vocational Fair was to showcase pathways beyond 4-year colleges that provide advancement and certification opportunities for our students after high school. We hosted representatives from nearly 30 organizations including trade unions, cosmetology programs, the armed forces, 2-year colleges, and AmeriCorps service programs. The hope for these "Anything but 4-year College" events is to continue to expose students to the broad scope of options available to them after high school so that they can remain intentional with exploring and investing in their interests.”

The fair was a wonderful collaboration and it started with Marge Smitheman ‘70, our Assistant in guidance, advocating for the need to showcase pathways beyond 4-year colleges. Because of all of our staff and the Alumni Association’s contributions, it was a huge success. Nearly 100 of our students attended! Students like Fatmata Diallo, 11th grade, were interested in seeing what else was out there for them. “I have many aspirations in life. I want to go to college but I also have a passion for cosmetology. This fair helped me explore those opportunities.” Axel Castillo, 11th grade, was also excited about the fair. “I am interest in going into the auto motive industry and this fair show me all the different paths I can pursue in this field.  Community College of Philadelphia and PennCo Tech are both places that were represented with automotive programs.”

Bridget Mierzejewksi, one of our ELA teachers, showed particular enthusiasm for showing our students what they can do after high school to further their lifelong learning and personal achievement beyond just college.  She helped to connect us with a variety of trade representatives and even brought some of her own family in with her.  “The Guidance Department did a great job.  It was a great night! The students were so excited and engaged! I’m looking forward to the next one.”