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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on January 28th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 47

Pioneer Valley High starts career-mentoring program

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

All it takes is an hour and a half of time spent speaking in three different classes to touch the lives of more than a hundred students. That’s a little more than 20 minutes per classroom.

It’s the formula Segue Career Mentors Program uses to get career-oriented adults in touch with high school students, and the program is just getting started at Pioneer Valley High School. Segue is a Ventura-based program that started about 10 years ago.

The goal of the program is to expose high school students to career paths by putting them in touch with speakers who volunteer to visit classrooms and talk about “the things we wish we had known about, the real world, the challenges they’ve had and how they overcome them,” said founder Jerry Beckerman, who’s also Segue’s executive director.

“Most people can hear stuff from others a lot better than they do their own parents,” Beckerman said of high school students.

Santa Maria resident Kerry Hansen volunteered to help bring Segue to Pioneer after attending a training session through the Ventura County Community Foundation where she met Beckerman.

She said things have been up and running at Pioneer since November, and Segue has pulled in about six speakers since then.

Hansen is visiting Pioneer on Feb. 6 to talk to students about her experiences in managing quality of life programs for active duty officers on two different naval bases. A chiropractor, insurance agent, and military officers have also signed up to speak so far this year.

Hansen thinks the program is great because Segue volunteers can expose students to a little something extra than their education would.

“They get a little wisdom and hopefully get a little fire lit for a career that they want,” Hansen said.

Want to volunteer at Pioneer Valley? Potential speakers can learn more or sign up on Segue’s website, speakinclass.org.