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Area Experts Show Students Career Preparation through SVCC’s Student Leadership Academy

March 2010

Twenty-three area high school students from three area high schools are learning career exploration and preparation with the help of Sauk Valley area business people thanks to a Student Leadership Academy at Sauk Valley Community College.

Twenty-three high school students from Dixon, Rock Falls, and Bureau Valley are participating in the four-part academy, which began in January. The leadership academy links high school students with local business community members to help students develop skills to succeed in the work place. Students attend four sessions throughout the school year that focus on gal setting, writing a resume and cover letter, interviewing skills, and work attitude and ethics.

At the next leadership session on Wednesday, March 17 at Sauk, students will participate in mock interviews with local employers. Assisting with the with the interviews will be Richard Downey of the City of Rock Falls, Rebecca Munoz-Ripley, YWCA director of marketing & community services, and Kathryn Snow, SVCC’s director of human resources.

At the first workshop in January, Deana Jones, coordinator of staff and training at Wahl Clipper, explained what employers expect from prospective employees. Then, last month, Sally Hanrahan of BEST Inc., showed students how to write an effective resume and cover letter. Tom Breed. SVCC counselor, discussed college planning and Jason Hedrick, SVCC’s director of theatre, along with acting students Husni Ashiku and Matt Orzechowski performed impromptu skits on job interviews.

The academy has been organized by a planning committee comprised of SVCC, area high school, and area business people, says Cathy Dorathy, SVCC’s coordinator of high school relations. In addition to Dorathy, Jones, and Hanrahan, committee members include Sharon Lindahl, SVCC; Lisa Blackburn, human resource generalist, KSB Hospital; Wilma Hewitt, director, Whiteside Area Career Center; Glenn Sauter, counselor, Amboy High School; and Connie Hahne, family and consumer science teacher, Bureau Valley High School.

Students that participate must be a junior or senior, maintain a “C” average or above, and have previously taken or currently take at least once career and technical education course.

The final academy session will be from 8:30 to a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday April 21, where students will learn about work attitude and ethics.