Thursday, March 12, 2015

Senior College/Career Readiness Week

The Van Buren Community School in conjunction with the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition, Indian Hills Community College, local financial institutions and Iowa Works held an educational event for graduating seniors. The week of March 9th – 13th consisted of sessions that graduating seniors attended each day to help better prepare them for their exit from high school and entrance into college or the career world.

Two Indian Hills Criminal Justice instructors held a session on personal safety. They spoke to the students about the importance of being aware of their surroundings, some basic self-defense and safety information they need to know if they are moving to a larger city to attend college, the military or start their career.

Two local financial institutions provided financial education and safety information to the students. First Iowa State Bank and Libertyville Savings Bank brought information on identity theft, financial security, credit card safety and money management as well as lots of fun giveaways. This session had great information for the students to help them be financially smart as they leave high school.

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and SEIDA Substance Abuse Prevention Agency provided the students with information about drug and alcohol safety. Students learned that they will be exposed to many new things as they leave Van Buren County and they want to ensure they are prepared for the dangers of these drugs and the long term problems they may cause for their future. This presentation was innovative and got the kids up and moving to help illustrate the main message of the presentation.

The students spent Tuesday morning taking the national career readiness certification test. This provided them with a score that employers will be looking for in the future as they hire new employees into the workforce. NCRC is a great opportunity for students because it increases employment opportunities and helps build a resume. Students received their scores right away and some are even talking about taking the test again to see if they can improve their scores. There has also been an interest from local businesses to learn about implementing this certification as a part of their hiring process.

The final session the students were a part of is the Iowa Works A-Game training. This session taught the students about good work habits and soft skills that they will need as they enter the workforce. This session was high energy and a lot of fun for the students as well as providing them with crucial life lessons.

This was a very educational week for seniors. They learned many valuable skills they will be able to use for a lifetime. Plans are in the works for next year based on feedback from both the students and the presenters to make this event better in years to come. For more information about senior week you may contact Julie Chapuis at the Van Buren Community School – 319-293-3184 or Heidi Bainbridge at the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition 319-293-6412.

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