Career Fair Showcases Lessons Learned Through Co-operative Education Placement

TIMMINS, ON | Thursday, May 25, 2006

Evan Colameco isn't a lawyer.

But he's as close to one as most high school students can get, thanks to the co-operative education course he's enrolled in.

The 18-year-old Grade 12 student, with about 100 other students, lined the walls of the Timmins High & Vocational School's gymnasium to show off what they did, what they learned and what direction they expect to go with life after participating in the high school's co-op program.

While Colameco's time with Evans, Bragagnolo & Sullivan LLP Barristers and Solicitors isn't done, the high school students said his desire to become a lawyer has only intensified.

"The eight-to-10 years of university is going to be a challenge," he said. "But I would love to (become a lawyer)." The experience has been mostly hands on, he said.

"I've been doing a lot more than just filing," he said. "Actually I haven't done too much office work at all." But Colameco wasn't the only student to get a good taste of the professional life this year.

Electricians, animal hospital workers, bakers, firefighters and other professions were represented in the TH&VS gymnasium.

Students stood with visual displays of their co-op program jobs in the gymnasium as a number of judges came at random to ask a variety of questions about the student's experiences.

The career fair was the major project associated with the program, instead of a final written exam.

At TH&VS, the co-op program has been running since 1985 and has gained success and popularity amongst students and employers throughout the community.

Kylah Eide, 17, used her co-op experience to learn about the ins and outs of working in and running a fitness facility.

She said during her co-op with Truestar Fitness and Nutrition Centres she learned everything from properly cleaning the exercise machines to hosting her own aerobics class.

"There was a time that I was really out of shape," she said. "I've always had an interest in (fitness) and wanted to help others who are in the same situation I was." Usually starting at 1 p.m. and concluding at 1:45 p.m., Eide said she led a group of 20 to 35 women, an experience unlikely to happen in her other classroom-based courses.

"At first I found it very frightening," she said of leading the aerobics class.

"But I got used to it and I know that this is something I really want to do for a career."

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