Barkalow hosts career day

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Barkalow Middle School, Stillwells Corner Road, held its annual Career Day on Nov. 29. Members of the Freehold Township community who are professionals in various industries spoke to eighth grade students about career paths and the requirements for entering a certain field. Students had the opportunity to attend five career workshops they chose among a list of 26.

Prior to the individual workshops, students gathered to listen to the keynote speaker of the day, Lisa Nissinoff, an agent from the FBI. When speaking with the eighth-graders, Nissinoff discussed the rigorous qualification process at the bureau and told them how the choices they make now could affect them throughout their future.

She explained the process of background checks, drug screenings and extensive physical and academic training. In addition to working for the FBI, she was part of the Secret Service which protected presidents Carter and Bush. She said working for a law enforcement agency was very demanding, but also rewarding. Nissinoff noted that only 10 percent of government field agents are female.

After Nissinoff ‘s presentation, students attended their individual workshops to speak with professionals in various fields including a dietician, architect, international trader, digital sports editor, market researcher and nurse.

One of the speakers was James Garcia, lead singer of the Nerds, one of New Jersey’s most popular bands. Garcia discussed the excitement of being a performer as well as the importance of education. He said he has been a musician for 23 years and told the students that the Nerds have performed at several venues including Carnegie Hall and the PNC Bank Arts Center.

“Every bit of education you get is beneficial,” he said.

According to Garcia, all of his fellow band members went to college and the knowledge gained is beneficial in many ways, including handling the business side of the industry and when writing song lyrics.

Many of the speakers carried that advice within their presentations while also providing information on paths to their specific profession.

According to a press release from the Freehold Township School District, Barkalow offers the career information workshop to make students better aware of career choices and the path they should follow to pursue a specific field.

Courtney Colford, school counselor, said the goal is to help students see that the school subjects they are studying now are relevant to success in their future jobs.

The district’s Eisenhower Middle School hosts a career day in the spring.

“This is a great way to get kids thinking about a wide range of career fields and what they need to do to follow a career path,” Barkalow Principal John Soviero said.

Soviero also said Career Day provides students with information to better prepare them if they plan to choose a specialized learning center when they enter high school.