In the news:
Sam Rayburn students
get connected with future careers
More than 100 Sam Rayburn High School students
connected with their futures recently at the school's Career Connection,
which showcased a myriad of business professionals for students to speak
Students visited with an artist, an aviation
mechanic, real estate agent, hotel manager, insurance agent, attorney
and representatives from different military branches. Students were
placed on committees and helped with the publicity, food and decorations
for the event.
"It was exciting to see students and their parents
involved in such an endeavor," said Sam Rayburn junior English teacher
Donna Cox. "The greatest benefit of all the hard work is that the
students had the opportunity to interface with people in the
marketplace. The students felt a sense of accomplishment as well as a
sense of hope and direction for their future."
Sam Rayburn junior Maria De Leon said her favorite
guest was Ron Jungman, an aviation mechanic for Southwest Airlines.
"He told me about how it was more exciting to work
on planes than being an auto mechanic because in the sky you can't just
stop and get someone to help you, so you have to be really careful," she
Another junior Chad Kelly said the Career
Connection was a great opportunity for him.
"Being able to speak with people from different
career backgrounds inspired me to expand my possibilities and unlock
doors to my future," he said.
Career Connection was the culminating event of a
program called Project Breakthrough that was implemented at the school
through a $5,000 grant from the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation.
Project Breakthrough allowed 400 Sam Rayburn
students to complete The Birkman Method questionnaire by Birkman
International, an online personality assessment questionnaire and a
series of related report sets that facilitate team building, executive
coaching leadership development, career counseling and interpersonal
"Project Breakthrough has proven to be an
effective, innovative approach to career counseling because it provides
an online interactive and self-interpretive report that can be accessed
not only by the student, but by the student's parents and teachers as
well," said Cox who was the grant coordinator. "By working with the
students on this level, I have been able to create a strong bond of
trust and enrich the overall classroom environment."
Birkman provided the 400 questionnaires for Sam
Rayburn students, normally $300 per person, at $10 each. Birkman also
provided the week-long training and certification for Cox so she could
consult with students after they took the questionnaire and covered the
cost of printing the reports. The grant will also allow an additional
130 students to take the assessment.
"It has been said that as many as 60 percent of
students who graduate from high school do not have a specific career
focus," Cox said. "This causes students who pursue a college education
to make faulty academic course choices and spend additional time and
financial resources in pursuit of their college degree. Students who
choose not to pursue a college degree bounce from job to job and
eventually gravitate to a career with little fulfillment of financial
The 298-question assessment combines motivational,
behavioral and interest evaluations into one single assessment reviewing
each student on an individual basis rather than clumping them into a
career category. The questionnaire includes five major perspectives of
usual behavior, underlying needs, stress behaviors, interests and
"The teacher-guided career feedback made it
possible for students to make a career choice based on knowledge rather
than on a whim or a shallow career assessment," Cox said. "Through this
project, we hope to increase the number of students who graduate and
find a fulfilling college major of a fulfilling career. We can't thank
the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation and Birkman International enough
for their generosity."