Rotary Club of Ojai- Senior Career Day
Every year Rotary Club of Ojai works with local high school staff to bring a healthy dose of reality to 180 Nordhoff High School seniors in the last week of April during Rotary Senior Career Day.  During the two-hour program, an inspiring keynote speaker was followed by a chance for students to meet in small groups with 48 local people from varied careers.   For twenty minutes two or more adults met in a circle with 8-12 students who had indicated interest in their fields, and told the students what their jobs were really like.  Students were matched to three groups according to their interests, so heard the stories of 6-9 adults. Presenters were encouraged to talk about their careers more like story telling than as a lecture, as if they were talking to a younger relative or friend in a personal way.
Rotarians worked hard to recruit diverse representatives from a wide variety of careers that required different levels of education and abilities.  Presenters included a magazine editor, birth doula/hypnotherapist, actor, film editor, physician, physical therapist, construction contractor, architect, permaculture educator, landscaper, web designer, social worker, fitness trainer, public safety personnel, nurse, preschool teacher, dog groomer, cancer researcher, bank loans officer, pilot, chemical engineer . . . even a beekeeper.
The morning ended with seven youthful presenters who had graduated from Nordhoff 10-15 years earlier taking two minutes each to tell the assembled students “what I wish I’d known when I was sitting where you students are now.”  Comments ranged from “Life happens and you can get derailed.  Don’t think a failure is the end of the world - - try again!”  “Your social media page is a job resume – future employers look you up - don’t post anything you wouldn’t want seen on the front page of the newspaper.” “Try new organizations and activities as soon as you get to college. Don’t wait until your junior year at college to jump into things that interest you.” “Travel!  See the world!”
Students went away with lots to think about.  Presenters left feeling very positive about the upcoming generation – and also about Rotary Club of Ojai for putting together such a worthwhile event for students in our community.