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Last Thursday, about 200 high school sophomore girls from 6 local schools had the opportunity to attend the 15th Annual Non-Traditional Employment for Women Workshop at Quaker Haven Camp in Syracuse. Students from Warsaw, Wawasee, Fairfield, Tippecanoe Valley, and Whitko high schools along with a few homeschooled students were in attendance. This workshop allows young women to see the possibilities for their future with a career that each may not have thought about or known was available to them. The purpose of this workshop is to expand the career possibilities for young women to consider and hopefully find one that is of interest. The information presented included education & training, a typical workday, work environments, wage information, employment forecasts, and advantages for women in these occupations. The girls were able to have hands-on experience with "try-it" activities in most of the career opportunities presented. These activities included: building a toolbox, doing a weather report, dressing like a firefighter, welding a souvenir, drilling into bones, designing & carving fruit centerpieces, suturing bananas, hosting an auction, and much more! 

The morning began with an inspiring keynote address from local author & motivational speaker, Natalie Replogle. Following a quick icebreaker game, Natalie shared her own story of struggle & triumph as she found her calling in life even after many different career attempts. She encouraged the students to not always look at failure negatively and to remember that each of them were made uniquely and for a specific purpose in life. 

After our keynote, students were able to break off into five different fifteen-minute roundtable discussion sessions with our speakers to learn more in-depth about their individual careers. The afternoon was spent experiencing all of the awesome try-it activities. 

This workshop would not have been made possible without the phenomenal support of all those involved. Special thanks to our amazing speakers, selfless volunteers, hard-working N.E.W. staff members, and generous sponsors including: 

Warsaw Area Career Center
Wawasee Area Career & Technical Cooperative
Carl D. Perkins Grant
The Warsaw Education Foundation
Building Trades students from WACC & WACTC
Ceres Solutions
Clayton Garden Center
Quaker Haven Camp
WACC Welding Technology Lab
WCS Maintenance Staff
Wyndham Garden Warsaw

Mrs. Carmichael's Fashion & Textile students recently made gifts for presenters at next year's N.E.W. Conference. 

For directions on how to make this project and many others, visit Mrs. Carmichael's website:

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.

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