Workshops showcase educational, career opportunities for area students

a workshop on building a college portfolio

Penn State DuBois Career Services Coordinator Anna Akintunde led a workshop on building a college portfolio for middle and high school students during the Gifted Workshop held Thursday, Nov. 16, on campus.

Credit: Penn State

DUBOIS, Pa. — Faculty and staff members at Penn State DuBois hosted a collection of workshops on Thursday, Nov. 16, to help introduce area middle and high school students to some of the options they'll have in both higher education and in their careers. The Gifted Workshop series was aimed specifically at students in gifted or advanced curriculums, and welcomed more than 30 students in grades seven through 12 from DuBois, Brockway, and Redbank Valley school districts. 

"It's a great resource, and it's right in our backyard," said Shawn Gifford, junior high gifted coordinator for Brockway, of bringing his students to the campus. "Until you come here, you don't always know everything going on and all the great resources that are here."

According to Assistant Director of Enrollment Services Holli Lashinsky, that's one of the goals of the program.

"We want to expose these students to our programs so that they're aware that there are great educational opportunities near to them, without having to travel far from home," Lashinsky said.

She also noted that taking advantage of educational opportunities close to home is just one way families can save on their expenses. The campus also can also provide qualifying students with assistance.

"We have over $400,000 in scholarships that we award to students each year," said Lashinsky. "These students in gifted programs, who are very strong academically, are poised to be able to take advantage of those opportunities."

Students rotated through three distinct workshop sessions during their visit. The first, instructed by faculty from the campus human development and family studies program, highlighted the impact human services professionals have on communities, and how wealth and power affect a person's success. The second session was taught by a member of the business program faculty, and focused on entrepreneurship and building a business. A third session, led by Career Services Coordinator Anna Akintunde, introduced students to building a college portfolio.

"We want to prepare these students for college, show them what's important, and what will set them apart from other students, and teaching them how to highlight their skills," Akintunde said. "We do the same for our college students with workshops that help to refine their skills. We're getting them job-ready. That is really the purpose of these workshops."