March 19, 2024 Category: Our Programs Partnerships

2024 Career Fair: Exploring Professional Pathways

Students in The Fresh Air Fund’s Career Awareness Program visited the Con Edison Learning Center in Long Island City on a recent Saturday for the Annual Career Fair! They had the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops, learn about possible careers and meet professionals from a broad range of industries.  

Students had a hands-on engineering experience at the Con Edison workshop. 

Inspiring Guidance

The day began with an inspiring welcome from Hugh Grant, the Vice President of the District Energy System at Con Edison and Fresh Air Fund Board Member. Born and raised in Jamaica, Hugh shared the story of how he navigated moving to the United States for college and how he started his career at Con Edison in New York City. His encouraging story sparked a lot of questions from both parents and students! 

Hugh Grant, Vice President of the District Energy System at Con Edison, shares inspirational stories from his college and professional experience. 

“I’m looking forward to hearing only great things from you all,” shared Hugh. “So, I leave you with three things. Be diligent. Always have a curious mind whereby you want to learn and do something different. Lastly, just have fun.” 

Students certainly listened to Hugh’s advice, as the Career Fair was full of exploring new ideas, asking good questions and above all, having fun. From surgeons and engineers to graphic designers and watchmakers, the event included jobs from a variety of industries. Children discovered interests they didn’t even know they had! 

Jeffrey Krebs, a physician’s assistant at the Hospital for Special Surgery, demonstrated the use of different surgical instruments. 

Discovering New Interests

“I was surprised that I was really interested in watchmaking! Since I never thought about it before, I didn’t know I could do something like this. Now, I’m really interested!” said Angela, 15.  

Shakima Figuera, a vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co., led a session focusing on personal finance. 

Parents were also excited about the prospect of their children discovering a career that’s not as widely known. 

“Children know about becoming a doctor,” shared Cassandra Patterson. “They know about becoming a lawyer, but they don’t know about all the other career opportunities out there that are available. I think it’s important that we expose our children to different opportunities.” 

Even within well-known industries, there are still so many different job possibilities to explore. Tamiko White, a fashion entrepreneur, emphasized the versatility of the fashion industry. 

Tamiko White led a workshop about jobs in the fashion industry. 

“My goal was to inspire children about creative careers and let them know that no matter what they’re interested in, whether it’s tech, engineering, AI, branding or marketing, there’s a job in fashion for them” shared Tamiko. 

Building Leadership Skills

The takeaways from the Career Far exceeded learning about different professional pathways. Students were exposed to the value of hard work, leadership and connecting with others. 

Students had the opportunity to build new skills and reconnect with friends from camp at the career fair. 

“I would like my son to learn how to be a leader and find the resources he needs to be successful in whatever he wants to do. I hope he enjoys the journey,” shared Bianco Cano. 

A big Fresh Air thank you to all our volunteers and to Con Edison for hosting the event. Visit here to learn more about the Career Awareness Program.