Workshops at Penn State DuBois help gifted students to identify career paths

Penn State DuBois alumnus Doug May

Penn State DuBois alumnus Doug May, who is currently enrolled at the Penn State College of Medicine, studying to become a medical doctor, made a presentation during the Gifted Workshop.

Credit: Steve Harmic

DUBOIS, Pa. — Students enrolled in gifted programs from school districts throughout the region participated in a program at Penn State DuBois on Nov. 9 that could help them identify their career path. The Gifted Workshops brought to campus approximately 30 students of various grade levels from Redbank Valley, Brockway, Brookville, and DuBois.

Groups of students rotated through two separate workshops. One focused on careers in law enforcement, corrections and criminal justice, hosted by David Bish, instructor in administration of justice. The other workshop highlighted careers in science- and health-related fields, as well as medicine. It was hosted by Sarah Raybuck, academic adviser, as well as Penn State DuBois alumnus Doug May, who is currently enrolled at the Penn State College of Medicine. 

"Our goal is to open the eyes of young people to the opportunities available to them for an education, as well as rewarding career options," said Holli Lashinsky, enrollment services specialist, who organized the workshops. "We have seventh through 12th-graders here, because it's never too early to start exploring majors and areas of study that are of interest to them."

Teachers from the participating school districts agree that exposing their students to career options at an early age benefits their educational development.

"A lot of my kids are undecided, and this gives them the opportunity to see what's available to them, and lets them see that they have the ability to start their education locally," said Melinda Burton, a K-12 gifted support teacher from Brookville. 

According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs related to criminal justice is expected to grow by 4 percent nationwide by 2024. The number of jobs in health care is projected to experience even more growth, with the bureau predicting a 19 percent increase by 2024, adding approximately 2.3 million new jobs nationwide.