Career Day Offers Students Exciting Opportunities


Mr. Crisafi

Director of Student Services Mrs. Susan Poncy tells the seventh-grade students what community service requirements there are for the Congressional Award.

What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s probably the most common question kids get asked. Middle school students kept this question in mind on Friday, February 21 during the school’s annual Career Day.  Students went through a variety of different workshops and activities during the first half of the school day in an effort to prepare them for entering the job. Market activities ranged from interviewing professionals in a variety of fields to making personal online resumes to presenting solutions to global problems. To start off the day, the middle school students attended a presentation in the Barker Performing Arts Center given by local meteorologist Cris Martinez. Martinez, the meteorologist for WPBF 25, West Palm Beach’s ABC affiliate, gave the students a rundown of what his job entails. He also showed behind the scenes photos of the weather equipment he and his crew use on set.

Mr. Crisafi
Local meteorologist Cris Martinez speaks to students about following one’s dream and working hard to accomplish what one wants in life.

“I wanted someone who would be engaging and informative, and I thought Cris would be the perfect fit,” said Dean of Academics, Mr. Charles Maddox, who brought Martinez to TBS. “I follow him on social media since he always provides great information about upcoming weather.”

After the assembly, the students participated in separate grade-level activities. For the past several years, the sixth graders have taken part in BizTown, a simulated community where students are assigned jobs, learn how to balance a checkbook, and keep track of their company’s finances. Unfortunately, Junior Achievement USA, the organization that runs BizTown, had a scheduling conflict that prevented them from attending TBS this year.

As a result, the sixth graders participated in an activity called Idea Tank where they were placed into groups and had to come up with a solution to a problem facing the community. This was an exercise designed to spark creative thinking and problem-solving in a collaborative environment. 

“My favorite part of Career Day this year was creating slides with our advisories and thinking about the community and what we can do to get involved and help with different issues,” said sixth-grader Jackson Zenter.  

In small groups, students selected an issue facing their community and brainstormed solutions to mitigate the problem. Then, students developed a presentation to share with the entire sixth-grade class. This helped bring awareness to certain issues impacting our communities and helped students reflect on potential careers that could tackle these challenges. 

“We had homelessness as our global issue,” said sixth-grader Reese Ferry. “[For our project,], we created care packages for them and an organization that people can join to get more involved with helping the homeless.”

In the seventh grade, students learned about the Congressional Award and how to earn one. This program is sponsored by the United States Congress and is an award for young Americans. Students may register when they turn 13-and-a-1/2 years old and must complete their activities by their 24th birthday. Participants may earn bronze, silver, or gold Congressional Award medals, which can be great resume boosters.

The program requires students in grades seven through twelve to participate in activities within four categories: voluntary public service, expedition/explorations, personal development, and physical fitness. During Career Day, seventh graders went to four different classrooms to learn more about those four categories. For the physical fitness portion of the program, they learned some salsa dancing from dance teacher Mrs. Lori Ramirez. Director of Student Services   Mrs. Susan Poncy spoke to them about community service, Chinese language teacher Ms. Kimberly Latimer talked to them about independently planning their own trip for the pursuit of learning, and Science Department Chair Mrs. Stephanie Oster discussed developing new interests and/or continuing their current hobbies as part of the personal development portion of the program.

Mr. Crisafi
Seventh-grade student Cameron Feiner works on his packet about the Congressional Award in Ms. Latimer’s rotation.

“I really liked going to the different classrooms and talking to the teachers about the different topics,” said seventh-grader Alex Pace. “My favorite classroom was community service because it really helped me get some ideas for different things to do.”

Eighth-grade students spent their morning in two distinct sessions. First, using Google Sites, students created their own personal websites that could act as their digital resumes. Library Media Specialist Mrs. Danielle Griffis, Director of College Counseling Mrs. Anna Wright, and College Counselor Mrs. Rebekka Goldberg, as well as a few upperclassmen, partnered with the students to lead them through this portion of the day. The students learned that they can use these personalized websites when applying for prospective jobs or completing scholarship applications.

 “[I enjoyed] creating our online websites with information about us because we are able to customize it to our personalities,” said eighth grader Audrey Boccaccio.

In small groups, students then moved on to interview prominent professionals in our community, many of whom were Benjamin parents. Doctors, realtors, nurses, FPL executives, and architects were among some of the business people who were interviewed. The students were also able to ask questions about the profession and the various fields and industries. 

Mr. Crisafi
Eighth-grade English teacher Mrs. Kathleen Devine helps eighth grader Joix Gelman with her resume.

“[I really enjoyed] going around to each class and seeing all the parents and having them give us a description of their lives and their careers,” said eighth grader Finn Martin, “I took away a special feeling to know that in the outside world there will be challenges to come, but you can overcome [them].”

Although this all took place in one day, Benjamin strives to prepare students for life after high school and beyond each and every day, which is why students feel so fortunate to attend TBS.

“It makes me proud to be a student here because Benjamin prepares me for the real world by discussing, in most classes, how the material we are learning in a specific course can be pertinent to my life,” said eighth grader Atticus Fasnakis-Nosal.