Career and Technical High School’s aim is to help students succeed in career pathways. This is promoted through Career and Technical Student Organizations, or CTSOs for short.

Business Professionals of America, SkillsUSA, and Health Professionals of America are the CTSOs that take up a large percentage of student interest.

Once a month, CTHS students get together in their career pathways. Advisers, teachers and student officers address topics such as advantages of joining one of these organizations, current events, and, perhaps most importantly, planning for the future. With the aid of PowerPoint presentations, videos, music, guest speakers, photos and hands-on activities, students receive the opportunity to learn something new, reiterate what they have heard before, and in the end, make improved resolutions.

Recently, health students discovered more about their character traits. Building students explored options for the future with guest speaker James Harris. Business students looked at life after high school with the help of video clips. Fitness students listed goals. Tourism students took advice from a professional in their field, Chris Johnson from Nutrition Services. The main theme: Plan for the future.

Start out small. Keep your sights held high. Aim in the right direction. Use your resources to achieve your goals. Guest speakers Chris Johnson and James Harris had a lot to offer to tourism and building students. But students weren’t the only one learning something new; teachers were just as interested as the students. Anecdotes of real-life experience where interlaced with humor that kept the audiences engaged and interested. In the end, everybody in attendance walked away having learned something new.

In order to think, let alone plan, about the future, building on strengths and weaknesses and goal setting are imperative. Health and fitness students took similar approaches at putting these thoughts and ideas in full view. Fitness students wrote down their ultimate goals, and listed what they were going to do to get there. Health students gathered in groups of similar personalities and wrote down descriptive words to describe themselves, both positive and negative.  Creating these visuals helped students reflect: Where am I going? How am I getting there? What do I have to help me get there? Is there anything I need to change?

At Career Tech, deciding what to do after high school is what it is all about. The scope of options is wide and varied, from going right into an entry level position to devoting time to years of schooling. Business students considered the most beneficial options. The presentation declared: What is your plan? Four-year College, two-year college, technical school, trade school, military, or apprenticeships? Going over these options gave students a lot to ponder, and hopefully showed them a path to follow.  

These activities students participated in demonstrated the goals of the Career and Technical Student Organizations. They will get to demonstrate the skills they have learned in their career and technical classes, thus preparing for successful prospects. They will receive real-life experience and instruction for preparation in future endeavors. In the end, it allows students to promote and prepare for what will very likely be successful futures.

Anita Laulainen is a junior at Mat-Su Career and Technical High School.

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