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DreamWakers brought the world to North Highlands, CA, through a Career Fair of the Future

On Monday, DreamWakers supported dedicated school counselor, Mrs. Katrina Bennett-Brown (affectionately known as Mrs. BB) to bring a wide range of dynamic career role models from around the country into five classrooms at Sierra View Elementary School in North Highlands, California. For the second year in a row, Mrs. BB has utilized #DreamSpeakers to bring unique and diverse professionals to her students for a virtual career day: a Career Fair of the Future! Through 45-minute video chats with diverse professionals, Sierra View students were exposed to new career opportunities and perspectives.

The virtual Career Fair gives my students contact with professions they have never heard of and that I do not have the contacts to bring to them. It provides relevant career information and highlights career paths that they have never heard of. — Mrs. BB

Erika Kirslis from PwC talks with a 4th-grade class at Sierra View Elementary.

The day kicked off with Jonathan de la Paz, Head of Strategy & Operations at YouTube, and Erika Kirslis, Manager and Digital Accelerator at PwC. While Mr. de la Paz tuned in from nearby San Francisco, Ms. Kirslis joined from her office on the other side of the country in Boston! The students asked Mr. de la Paz if he knew everything that was on YouTube. To their surprise and awe he shared that, “500 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube every minute!” On the other side of the school, Ms. Kirslis was chatting with a group of 4th-grade students learning about life at PwC. To help her job come to life, Ms. Kirslis compiled their school demographic data into infographics to visualize their school community and provide a tangible example of her work.

That afternoon, the conversations continued with three more spectacular speakers: Professional Photographer and Director Gina LeVay and Gretel Truong, Campaign Director of Communications for On Community (both based in New York City), and Shelle Hyde, a UX Researcher for 23andMe based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Professional Photographer Gina LeVay shows the students her photography gear.

The Career Fair of the Future was a success! The five #DreamSpeakers connected with 133 students from 4th to 6th grade thanks to the fantastic educators at Sierra Vista Elementary School. Ninety-three percent of students had never before heard from a professional in these fields. The tangible skills students gained will carry forward: more than 60% of students reported that because of these conversations they feel more confident talking to career professionals.

The connection to careers that we have only talked about theoretically was invaluable. As I continue to educate my students about the breadth of options available to them, the DreamWakers flashchats provide something concrete and visible to my students. — Mrs. BB

We can’t wait for next year!

Behind the scenes: DreamWakers team members host Career Fair flashchats from Washington, DC.

Traditional career fairs can be challenging to organize and require travel on the part of busy career professionals. At DreamWakers, we ease this burden and facilitate virtual career fairs to open doors and dreams for students around the country.

Interested in setting up your own Career Fair of the Future? We’d love to help make it happen. Sign up as a #DreamEducator here!

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