The Warsaw Area Career Center and the Wawasee Area Career & Technical Cooperative sponsored the 14th annual N.E.W. (Non-Traditional Employment for Women) Opportunities workshop, titled C.S.I- Career Seeking Investigations, last week at Quaker Haven Camp in Syracuse, IN. About 200 female, sophomore students from six local schools including Fairfield, Tippecanoe Valley, Warsaw, Wawasee, West Noble, & Whitko attended this event.
Mrs. Kawsky, WACC Director/Principal, opened the morning by not only talking about how the day would go but also encouraged the girls to not let the outside world distract them today and to really focus on broadening their field of vision in regards to potential career pathways they can take.
The day began with the 2016 keynote speaker, Leslie Cook, the Adams County Coroner. Cook has been a regional forensic nurse examiner with the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center since 1996 providing medical forensic examinations to hundreds and hundreds of patients in and around Allen County. Ms. Cook uses her forensic training in the area of death investigation where she has been with the Adams County Coroner’s office for 18 years serving as both the elected Coroner and Deputy Coroner. In addition, Ms. Cook provides peer mentoring, consultation, presentations, in-services and lectures to a variety of professionals, students and the lay population on topics related to sexual assault. During her keynote address, she talked about not only the opportunities available to her throughout her career as a nurse but also how a door was opened to her in politics, which is where her passion has been in recent years. Ms. Cook stressed to the attendees about how she can still be successful in her career while juggling her personal life as a mom and wife. She talked about the importance of understanding that physically women can handle this job just as well as men can. Ms. Cook left the students with these final thoughts: Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude, and a lady with class.
The students then had the opportunity to participate in round table discussions where they were able to rotate to five different tables to learn about the nontraditional careers that were present.
After lunch a wonderful lunch catered by Quaker Haven, the students participated in hands-on activities in different career areas so they could “feel it, touch it, experience it”. The young women had the chance to become familiar with everything from a flight simulator to welding and practicing sutures to building tool boxes.
All those who attended found the day to be such a rewarding experience. The enthusiasm and passion of the women presenters for their career choice excited and rejuvenated all there. It was truly education at work in our community with many partnerships involved and lots of dedicated people who wanted to see young women expand their horizons and pursue their dreams.
Funding for the 2016 workshop was made possible through a Red Apple Grant from the Warsaw Education Foundation and Carl Perkins Federal Grants. Special thanks to other contributors: Building Trades Students from WACC & WACTC, Clayton Garden Center, Quaker Haven Camp, WACC Welding Technology Lab, Warsaw School Custodial Staff, North Central Co-Op, Wyndham Garden Warsaw.