London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS) successfully hosted its first career day Oct. 20, bringing in community members from different fields to share how their career is a calling.
Director of advancement and curriculum Kerry Wilson says the purpose of the event was to expose students to the career options available that they hadn’t considered while looking at how their faith will integrate and play out in their career of choice.
In June, students received a questionnaire asking what career areas they would want present at the career day. From the survey, a career day committee connected with representatives from those fields and asked them to come for the day and host a session.
All students took part in the day, which began with an opening assembly that kicked off with a performance by musical group Isobelle Gunn.
Paul Buma, head of guidance at LDCSS, says they initially contacted the group to ask them to speak about how to become a professional musician, and that sparked the idea to incorporate a live performance.
Robert Melnichuk was the keynote speaker at the assembly. Melnichuk hosts the Crossroads television show Whatido, which focuses on interviewing Christians in a variety of careers and discussing how their vocation is their calling and how they live out their faith in their career.
“(He) really challenged the kids over the course of his half-hour chat in how God has a purpose and a plan for them and has called them to really do something with their lives,” says Wilson.
“They need to discover what are they interested in, what are they passionate about, what are they good at, how has God gifted them and then go after that with the mindset that it’s not my job, it’s my calling,” she adds.
Buma notes Melnichuk’s message was “very affirming” for the work he does in career studies at the school, which follows a similar structure.
There were 29 careers represented at the school, including a doctor, photographer and contractor. Each student attended three half-hour sessions. The guests shared with the students the educational requirements of their job, the pros and cons and how they personally integrate faith with work.
“What we’re really after is helping students explore (and) discover direction in their lives,” says Buma. “It really benefits the students I think in terms of having them think about what it is they want to do later on in life.”
Following the sessions the guests were treated to a lunch at the school.
Buma says one of the benefits of the day was bringing community members into the school.
“The speakers were varied in age, occupation and in background and so it was a really good integration of community with the school,” he says, noting some of the speakers were alumni.
Wilson agrees a benefit from the day was the community outreach component.
“We had people from London and area who had never been to the school before really excited to be there and interact with the students,” she says.
Wilson says feedback from students is that they enjoyed the day, and some Grade 12 students have said because they attended three sessions they are now interested in more career options.
The school is planning to host the event again, and is deciding whether to host it every two or three years.