Tuba City High School puts on career fair featuring Native professionals

Navajo Generating Station representatives Franco Begay and Kolton Chato talk to Tuba City High School students about electrical engineering during a recent Career Fair. Photo/Tia Folgherator

Navajo Generating Station representatives Franco Begay and Kolton Chato talk to Tuba City High School students about electrical engineering during a recent Career Fair. Photo/Tia Folgherator

TUBA CITY, Ariz. -Tuba City High counselor Cheryl Onsae and Career Technical Education (CTE) Director Woody Begay sponsored this year's Career Fair for high school students. The event featured mostly Native American professionals in varied fields giving students the opportunity to ask questions, get detailed information and consider areas of study aimed at a future career.

Both Onsae and Begay recognized that Tuba City High students have a wide variety of interests - from sports medicine to welding to teaching or culinary work, graphic arts and the engineering sciences. The two thought it would be good to have a day to bring in professionals who set up booths with pamphlets, photo storyboards and videos to show students different careers paths.

The career fair allowed students to speak directly to adult professionals in fields the students are interested in and then ask questions to see if their particular career interest would be something they want as a final career choice.

"My hope is to make this career fair bigger each year," Onsae said. "This is not just an assembly where the presenters hand out applications. This is not what we're looking for. We want each presenter to speak to the student, let them know what kind of high school courses they need to be taking, and what they need to do to be ready and to be successful in each career field. For example, to be a nurse, you should be caring and sensitive to the well-being of your patients. If you want to go into engineering, then you should have a good solid foundation in both math and science."

Onsae said she wants the students to hear directly from the professionals in their field of choice.

"We also try very hard to get professionals who are Native so the students can see role modeling at work and their own tribal culture at work in a professional setting," she said. "This year we were even able to get Tulsa Welding School to our campus. Welding is a popular career choice and we want the students to know what it takes to be successful in that field. We also had a massage therapist at our career day this year. She was very popular, since many students have never considered physical or massage therapy as a real career. I hope to get more professionals involved so we are able to connect our students with these varied professionals, exposing them to the world of work."

Onsae and Begay also encouraged their students to research their career interests on the internet. Professionals also give presentations during the school year.

This year a wide variety of professionals were at the one day event in Tuba City High Warrior Pavilion.

Tyler Manson, with the DINE' Youth Office, assisted students interested in summer work.

Tulsa Welding School's Reggie Tso spoke to students about professional welding, long distance travel for welding work and safety requirements.

Loyola Rankin, with the Institute of American Indian Art-Santa Fe, introduced career choices for students in the visual and performing arts fields, while Steven Yazzi, represented Navajo Generating Station, and Sheldon Lee dicussed electrical engineering.

Eugene Begay, with Northern Arizona University (NAU) Talent Search, helped first generation students learn about post-secondary education. Earn to Learn's Sean Gishi talked about scholarships available for students.

University of Arizona's Justin Hongeva talked to students interested in University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University's Ally Wolever gave students information about the college.

DINE' College's Shirley Yellowhair spoke to students about degree programs and transfer programs.

Hopi Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Officers Whitney Ami and Marla J spoke to students about real work scenarios and what they have encountered in daily enforcement protection and the training required before they can be in the community.

Tuba City Regional Health Care Hospital's Byron Bizardi spoke with students about health care and health administration fields.

Grand Canyon Trust's Sarana Riggs spoke to students about tribal environmental research and community advocacy.

Andrew Wheel and Gabina Baker, with the U.S. Army, talked about careers in the Army. Shoshanna Flores, with the U.S. Air Force, talked about career options.

Romeyn Massage Therapy's Danielle Romeyn discussed professional massage therapy.

Food Corp's Alicia Tsosie, Will Conway and Jessica Delmar talked to students about self-sustainability through gardening and also job applications.

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