As a popular radio personality, Michael Boykin enjoyed talking about his career with Jayandre Simmons.
Boykin spends a lot of his time on air, but he thought it was important spending his time speaking to future professionals. The Laymen’s League Youth Auxiliary of First Baptist Church of 900 College St. hosted its second annual Career Day Saturday for elementary, middle and high school students. Simmons, a sophomore at Clinton High School, was one of the youths present.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to look at all the fields that I want to explore,” Simmons said.
The fair’s radio and television opportunities sparked his interest because he likes music.
“I think this is a beautiful thing that they put together today for our youth,” Boykin said. “We all need to help prepare our youths for the future.”
Many business professionals in the community attended. During different breakout sessions, youths learned about different career paths when adults share their experiences. Some of the fields included law, media, information technology, engineering, social work, mortuary science.
Ne’Quoya Smith represented Fayetteville State University’s Educational Opportunity Centers. She believes it’s essential to connect with younger people. During her time at the fair, she spoke with participants about financial aid, the application process for college and other needs.
“It’s important to reach out to young people because we don’t want them to fall by the wayside. We want to make sure this service is for them.”
Lenzie Grice, an organizer for the event, was pleased with the turnout.
“I think it was fantastic,” Grice said. “It was a chance to expose the kids to different careers and give them the opportunity to know what’s out there for them.”
Some of the other presenters included Artist Robert Hall; Dr. Henry Moss, a retired orthopedic surgeon; Anthony Worley of Worley Funeral Home; and Johnny Pridgen, real estate professional. Attorney Alton Williams of Raleigh talked to students about growing up in Clinton, while offering encouragement.
“I wanted to give back and show the kids that if you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do anything,” Williams said.
After the sessions, a group of presenters spoke about their personal experiences, character traits and faith. Dr. Marla Hall, an assistant professor for East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, spoke about being a first generation college student. Education professional Juandalynn Ray spoke to students about individuality, while James Faison talked to his students about his beliefs about success and staying connected to the church. Leonard Henry, a drop-out prevention specialist for CHS, gathered everybody in attendance for a group prayer and said a blessing for the current generation.
Marcus Bass, church member, said the event raised awareness about roles they can have in the future.
“Sampson County people don’t realize the number of opportunities that are here for careers,” Bass said. “It’s a real good experience and to see the church be a nucleus for that is good also.”