Resource Fair gives Tahoe Truckee students tools for success

Amy Edgett
Greg McDougall, Resource Fair event co-coordinator with Pat Gibbons-Johnson, ushers students to their lunch break.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — The 2013 Junior’s Resource Fair at the North Tahoe Event Center rounded up more than 300 students from Truckee, North Tahoe, and Incline High Schools, Squaw Valley Academy, Forest Charter, Sugar Bowl Academy and Twin Ridges for a day of “Riding Into Your Future.”

“The world is changing so fast and is so complex,” said event co-organizer Greg McDougall. “We are here to get them (students) the data and general information they need to succeed in multiple areas. So far this is the best method, not only for information about careers and education, but life.”

The Resource Fair included more than 40 vendors, representing an array of career possibilities, from law enforcement, health, vocational, the tourism industry and the popular Paul Mitchell school, located in Reno, Nev.

“Our profession is recession-proof,” said Director Marjie Christensen, whose school usually instructs about 30 Truckee Tahoe students each year. “Students get out of our school and can be making as much money as college graduates.”

The event helps youths focus on their careers and future, giving them the tools they need to be successful, according to Rotary member Donna Landeros.

In addition to information booths, where students learned about a variety of trades and job opportunities, keynote speaker Isabelle Rodriguez Wilson advised students of what you can do as a self-made man or woman. Wilson, through her own work and determination, became the director of travel for the Clinton administration, and recently served as the executive director at Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe.

Sunrise Rotary Area 3 Assistant Governor Steve Lieberman said the students were very excited to hear her speak, learning what is possible with a little talent and a lot of hard work.

The 2013 Resource Fair also included a room with tricks to “get there.” The One Stop Business & Career Center gave tips on writing a great resume. Dan O’Gorman, Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District recreation superintendent didn’t coddle the kids at “The Interview” station. “Don’t bring your mother, your boyfriend or your buddies,” he said. “They aren’t interviewing for the job. You are. You — you’re slouching — I won’t hire you.” Students were encouraged to dress the part — many were outfitted in suits, ties, skirts and business-like tops.

The event was coordinated by Excellence in Education, Incline Village Rotary, Sunrise Rotary, Noon Rotary, Tahoe City Rotary, Soroptimist, Northstar Foundation, North Tahoe Event Center, The Office Boss, Town of Truckee, and Truckee Optimist, with a 95-person volunteer support force. Special event coordinators Pat Gibbons-Johnson and Greg McDougall were extremely pleased: “Last year a student came up to me and thanked us for believing in them,” said McDougall. “If we can turn the light on for 20-30 percent of these kids, it’s a success — this group is focused.”

Many thanks go out from organizers to the community for support — including parents, vendors, nonprofits, and the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board, noted McDougall.

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