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Challand students figure out what it takes to get a career underway

STERLING – Mitchell Prevo had the best props to help explain the profession of veterinary science to his Challand Middle School classmates.

Mitchell brought four teddy bear Shih Tzu puppies and an Arizona rose hair tarantula to Challand’s annual career day Friday.

Mitchell welcomed plenty of classmates to pet and hold the puppies as he explained the details about what it takes to be a successful vet.

“I really like working with animals and seeing people happy,” Mitchell said. “It just makes me happy.”

Only Mitchell’s grandmother, Valory Jimenez, could hold the tarantula: It was her idea to supplement the pool of puppies.

“If you’re bringing animals, remember that there are vets that diagnose other things,” Jimenez told him.

Challand language arts classes talked about careers ranging from aerospace engineering to veterinary science. Students from six class periods picked their desired career fields and conducted research, typed resumes, sought references, and had mock interviews with teachers.

The job fair is an event that many of her former students look back on as being their favorite part of her class, language arts teacher Kim Reiley said. Every year she shows students pictures of the year before, and challenges them to do better.

“Things that absolutely will carry over to their life, they’ll need those skills,” she said.

Props didn’t have to be alive to be near to her heart. Ben Boze brought his late grandfather’s wire cutters and wire strippers to help demonstrate what it takes to be a successful electrician. He also had a snap circuit board with two double-A batteries and a small light to explain how electricity is generated.

He learned that it can be a simple job that anyone can do.

“I didn’t realize that you had to work a 40-hour week, but I think that would be pretty cool,” said Ben, who handed out mock business cards to visitors. “You don’t need a whole lot of experience, too.”

Students used folding display boards to post pictures and information such as the required educational background, skills needed and salaries based on experience.

Landen Derrer found underwater welding to be a fun job, and lucrative: The most experienced can make up to $300,000 a year. When doing research, he was fascinated by the pictures of workers doing their job.

“It’s a hard job, and a dangerous job,” Landen said. “You have to have good vision and be focused.”

Iker Zaragoza has ambitions to be an immigration lawyer when he gets older.

He is concerned about how people’s lives are outside of the United States, and said immigration is a hot topic as of late, particularly “with the whole wall for Mexico,” Iker said.

“They want to have a better life over here in the United States. I would try to help their families prosper, as well as for many generations ahead of them.”

A sampling of the careers shared at CMS Career Fair

Aerospace engineering



Computer programming

Culinary arts



IT management

Lawyer (corporate, family, immigration)


Mechanical engineering

Mental health



Nurse practitioner


Orthopedic surgery



Software development

Underwater welding

Veterinary science

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