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San Gabriel Unified Middle School Highlights Professional Pathways during Career Day

California Highway Patrolman Saul Vasquez explains his daily duties with his K-9 partner to Jefferson Middle School students during Career Day on March 29. – Courtesy photo

Jefferson Middle School students learned about the benefits of working in music composition, aerospace engineering, public safety and more than 40 other professional pathways during the school’s annual Career Day on March 29.

Jefferson Middle School students took notes and asked questions during three 40-minute workshops, during which parents and community members detailed their professional journeys and how to thrive in their careers.

Carl Carranza, a marine biologist and marine science educator at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, highlighted how certain interests as a child alongside in-school activities led to his career.

“In the third grade I was in love with dinosaurs, like all kids in the third grade,” Carranza said. “That got me involved in geology, because looking at dinosaurs meant looking at fossils. Then we dissected a shark and that was way cool; I fell in love with marine biology and decided that’s what I was going to do.”

Jefferson school counselor Tony Phuong emphasized the importance of highlighting career paths to middle schoolers and to keep options open for children.

“It is important for middle school students to get the exposure to career options and to see if they like or don’t like a certain aspect about a career,” Phuong said. “Career Day also helps them to link what they are learning in the classroom to a career or apprenticeship down the road.”

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