Letter From the Editor

img_5037I have helped with Career Mentoring Day for several years now. This year was particularly enjoyable. Personally, I got to help the day feel special for our youth, you know, cool name tags, fun giveaways, nice décor, flashy certificates. And then I receive my assignment of who I will take where for their on the job shadowing experience.

As I drove my student to the travel agent, we chatted and I learned how much he wanted to travel. As a chair user, he said his mum wasn’t thrilled at the idea of him flying on a plane by himself. I know the anguish a mother feels, I stress when my daughter travels out of the country by herself. But since she is an adult, I have no say in the matter. And things typically turn out fine.

So when he said he wanted to travel, I commended him on his choice of career. Where best to learn the ins and outs of travel when you have a disability than with a travel agent. And who knows? There may be a need for a travel agent in the future with that particular expertise!

Another student came back to speak about her experience shadowing a police dispatcher. She is a chair user as well, and seemed quite suited to this career. She enjoyed her time with her mentor and asked all the right questions. She is now armed with a list of what requirements it may take to become a police dispatcher.

I also drove another student to Sam Dial Jewelers. This student has been fascinated with gemstones all his life and wants nothing more than to be a goldsmith. Sam did a great job showing all the cool technology they have, and as a chair user, this career choice is well suited to him.

I even had a chance to hear back from a student who had participated in CMD a year or so ago. She is now finishing up school at Mr. Leon’s and looks forward to either becoming a stylist or a teacher.

CMD opens up so many possibilities for youth, the only drawback I can see is we don’t do this for ALL interested youth. In my perfect world, any student interested in taking part, whether they have a disability or not, would be able to attend.