Well we’ve made it through this hectic year to the end of October already – and yet I'm still writing 2010 on all my paperwork. It’s like this year has gone by so fast it didn’t even happen; and yet at the same time, so much has happened.
We’ve had an amazing start to the 2011/12 school year, with our 10 liaison staff members already having booked and presented to almost 200 schools in the months of September and October alone!
Personally, I have spent the last two weeks visiting the schools in the Simcoe County District School Board, in and around the Barrie area. And what an incredible two weeks it has been! I’ve enjoyed so much of it, the enthusiasm shown by the students and teachers to the beautiful colours of fall that I saw on my everyday drives. Some mornings I was up early enough to catch the sun rising over Lake Simcoe – a truly beautiful sight.
One of my more memorable presentations of these past two weeks was at Midland Secondary School, which is about a 3 hour drive from where I live in Kitchener. Last year I had tried to get to Midland Secondary School twice, and both times had to cancel due to snow storms – and one of those times was even in March! This year we decided to try October and crossed our fingers that there would not be a white-out blizzard on the morning of the 13th. We were in luck – I had a fabulous drive into Midland and was able to speak to all the grade 11 & 12 students in their school. They were a big group, but were all really interested and very interactive during the presentation. I had many questions and comments from students and even had two students come up after the presentation to talk to me,and the OYAP Coordinator who booked the presentation. They were really interested in knowing how they could get started in their apprenticeships in grade 12 through OYAP(the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) in their school. When we finished talking they were both headed for the guidance office to start the process of switching into a CO-OP/OYAP course for the next school year.
It’s days like those that make us realize that we are actually making a difference in the presentations we give. From giving the students the information they need to take that next step of getting involved in an apprenticeship, to connecting them opportunities in their schools, we are all contributing to the success of today’s students in the skilled trades. And seeing a student’s face light up when they are shown the hands-on education they can receive though an apprenticeship, as well as the many benefits the skilled trades provide is always the highlight of my day. I'm sure that will never get old.