Independence Middle School students participated in a week-long series of career exploration events May 9-12. Engage and Explore is a partnership between Independence Local Schools and the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, facilitated by the district Career Specialist, Amanda Jaronowski. The series featured a variety of different professionals from businesses and organizations around the community. The hour-long sessions had the students rotating in small groups, visiting for about 5 minutes with each professional that came to the school that day. The students were given prepared conversation starters, and then the event ended with a full question and answer panel where the visitors fielded questions about their careers.
Twenty-six professionals in diverse career fields volunteered to donate their time to this event such as those in nursing, human resources, engineering, information technology, finance, real estate, and many more. Special thanks to the following individuals for taking the time to share their expertise with the students:
Alicia Carlucci, RN & Professor at Cuyahoga Community College
Amanda Mikolic, Curatorial Assistant, Medieval Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art
Amar Desai, Professor at Case Western Reserve University
Amber Veverka, Assistant Community Services Director for the City of Independence
Carrie Sears, Philanthropic Coordinator & Community Engagement Specialist at DiGeronimo Companies
Cindy Frazier, Pharmaceutical/Biosciences Sales Specialist at Eisai Pharmaceutical company
David Riedel, Senior Project Engineering Manager at Airgas, an Air Liquide Co.
Don Ramm, City Engineer for the City of Independence
Douglas Barstow, Manufacturing Account Manager at Grainger Inc.
Emily Thomas, Community Services Director for the City of Independence
Greg Freeman, Engineering Manager at ABB Inc.
Jackie Repicky, Human Resources Director at Kurtz Bros, Inc.
Joseph DiGeronimo, Vice President at Precision Environmental Company
Lee McGovern, Freelance Writer, Editor, and Photographer
Lisa DiGeronimo, Human Resources Director at Independence Excavating
Majeed Makhlouf, Partner at Berns, Ockner, & Greenberger, LLC
Mateusz "Mat" Bratko, Senior Data Analyst at Falls and Company
Matt Malone, VIce President of Operations at Kurtz Bros., Inc.
Matt Urie, Firefighter/Paramedic at Cleveland Hopkins Airport Fire Department
Maureen Anter-Ressler, Commercial Real Estate Agent at Cushman & Wakefield (Cresco Real Estate)
Mike Mallis, Senior Director of Mortgage Banking at Rocket Mortgage
Rebecca Somnitz, Owner and Stylist at Something White Bridal Boutique
Stacey McNamara, Job Developer at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center
Steve Rega, Fire Chief for City of Independence
Vern Blaze, Finance Director for City of Independence
Vy Mancini, IT Director for TravelCenters of America