CedarBridge Career Fair With Focus On Trades

April 10, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Patrick Bean]

CedarBridge Academy is putting on a career fair with a difference tomorrow [Thursday], one which gives specific attention to students with learning challenges via emphasis on skilled trades as viable career options.

The event is to combine a panel discussion featuring persons living with disabilities along with a selection of pop-up booths comprising various career professionals, each available to share knowledge and vital components relative to individual fields of employment.

Chief organiser of the fair Tanya Simmons, the Instructional Leader of Learning Support, is excited about the prospects of the event, which seeks to inspire hope, confidence and determination in students that they be able to explore and release maximum potential regardless of termed deficiencies and manner of comprehension.

“It is a ‘learning different’ fair as well as a career fair,” explained Ms Simmons. “So, in the morning we are having a panel discussion with some people talking about living with disabilities and we will be having a learning fair up top at 11, where different people who have learning deficiencies will be present, while at the same time our career fair will be going on in the gym.

“We used to do a career fair years ago, but then Covid happened and we haven’t done it in a while. So we’re trying to get ourselves back up and running, but we’ve added the piece about learning differently as a way of targeting students who do learn differently.

She explained that they have students who have learning deficiencies at CedarBridge and ‘sometimes they get left out of different things.’

“We wanted them to understand that, ‘although I learned differently I can still have a career’.

“A lot of times when you go to career fairs they’re targeting lawyers, accountants and fields like that, but you never hear about the electrician or the plumber or the tiler, all of those types of careers one can also have as a career.

“So we just thought that we would do something for our children in the area of trades.”

Ms Simmons referred to times past when Bermuda had institutions that expressly catered to those interested in adopting a trade as a way forward.

“One we want to bring awareness, because what we find is that a lot of our children sometimes tease other children because they learned differently,” added Ms Simmons. “So we want to bring awareness that there’s nothing wrong with them learning differently, that they can still accomplish great things.

“We want the students who have these difficulties to feel comfortable with who they are and have them understand that it’s okay that they do learn differently.

“We want to expose them to others in the community who may have had similar challenges and let them know that there are celebrities and successful people in the community and around the world who have learning difficulties and have still been able to accomplish great things.

“We want them to know that they don’t have to be a lawyer, doctor or nurse or whatever, that the trades are just as valuable and important.”

“A lot of our children with learning challenges are more hands-on learners, as opposed to the traditional learner, so we want to recognise that you can be an out-of-the-box learner or learn differently and still become successful.

“I tell our students that in our day we had the Robert Crawford School and Prospect School for Girls, which were school that you went to when you wanted to perform hand-on activities and some of the best plumbers, electricians, secretaries and clerks came out of those schools.

“We don’t necessarily gear ourselves towards that anymore but we still need to expose our children to it.”

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