On November 6, 2015, Environmental Charter Schools presented its 9th Annual Career Day at Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale. At Career Day, students gained inspiration and knowledge about possible career trajectories to pursue from community leaders and professionals, while also learning what steps they can take as high school students to begin developing their professional capacity. Thank you to our Career Day sponsors and partners: ReGreen, AAA Flag & Banner, Dogeared, Earth Friendly Products, Tangram, Thrive Market, Veggie Grill, EmpowHer, and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
ECHS students attended presentations and workshops by more than sixty leading professionals, all of whom shared their personal stories of bold moves, with an aim to mentor students and ignite inspiration amongst them. Speakers from a diverse array of fields, including education, banking, engineering and law, provided students with valuable perspectives through speaker panels and a variety of workshop topics, including public speaking, resume writing and financial literacy. Dogeared and EmpowHER hosted inaugural speaker tracks, and the Los Angeles chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council was the returning sustainability content partner. In addition to the workshops, students had the opportunity to hear inspiring and thought-provoking words from Career Day’s keynote speaker, Prophet Walker, Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, and ECHS alumni Jose Lopez.
Speakers and students learned from one another at the event’s festivities. Tahj Lakey, an eleventh grader at ECHS, was particularly struck by keynote speaker, Prophet Walker. Prophet was formerly incarcerated but pursued training as an engineer and is now President of his own commercial real estate firm. Prophet’s determination and perseverance and his personal transformation story left an impression on Tahj and helped him to see that one cannot be overtaken by life challenges.
“Prophet didn’t become his situation, he rose out of it.”
-Tahj Lakey, 11th grade student
Another ECHS student, Carolyn Lam, also enjoyed learning from speakers at Career Day. Carolyn said that she felt that Career Day reminded her of the importance of building community stewardship into one’s career.'
"There's a sense that you 'owe your community.' I am reminded that my ECS community has helped make me who I am."
— Carolyn Lam, 12th grade student
Career Day speakers and guests also had an opportunity to network and connect with one another over a healthy and delicious lunch provided by Veggie Grill. During lunch, guests heard presentations from ECHS Green Ambassadors Interns, who spoke about their community engagement efforts, including their recent sustainability audit at Dogeared. Interns Vanessa Iniguez and Carolyn Lam shared their personal journeys, realizations about sustainability, and words of wisdom for career day speakers.
[Photos] Left: Carolyn Lam, Right: Vanesa Iniguez
“Imagine a world where every person and every business tried to do their best to make their surroundings better and more sustainable. Think: What can I do to make my home, my business, my community, just 5% better? Because every action has a reaction, and that reaction can lead to something monumental.”
-Vanesa Iniguez, Green Ambassadors Intern, 11th Grade
Just as ECHS students learned from Career Day speakers, the invited speakers also learned from ECHS students. Zahra Dowlatabadi, a Career Day guest from Warner Brothers Animation, was struck by the insights of the students.
“Witnessing the Green Ambassadors students, their ability to articulate, reflect, feel confident in making a difference — I can see the possibilities of meaningful change through them.”
– Zahra Dowlatabadi, Career Day Guest, Warner Brothers
For more photos from the 2015 Career Day, see our album below.
At ECHS, Career Day is a platform for inspiration, the exchange of ideas, and the sharing of experiences. Community…