By Joyce LEE
The Teens MOVE (Many Opportunities for Volunteer and Employment) Fair 2014, sponsored by the Foothills YMCA and Crescenta Valley High School PTSA, took place on the school campus on Feb. 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Booths were set up around the quad area by local businesses and organizations to provide information for students on community involvement, jobs and internship opportunities. Among those attending were representatives from the Glendale Police Dept., Los Angles County Fire, Visual Effects Society, Congressman Adam Schiff, Assemblymember Mike Gatto and the Foothills YMCA. According to the vendors, there was a great amount of interest from the students.
“I [have been] looking for an internship for the past few months, but I had difficulty choosing one because I was not well informed. This event helped me to become aware of the diverse organizations we have in our small community and motivated me to be proactive,” junior Danielle de Leon said.
This event was not only beneficial for students in need of jobs or volunteer experiences, but it also allowed the organizations to publicize and encourage students to explore and find their passions, instead of focusing solely on how to get into a prestigious college.
“There’s more to life than just attending college. Everyone has different hobbies and these interests do not all require a college degree,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Victor Mexicano. “My job is to recruit students from Crescenta Valley High who are interested in joining the marines once they graduate, and this MOVE Fair has allowed me to further inform students of the possibilities outside of school.”
Similar to the U.S. Marines, the Glendale Police Dept. advocates for high school students to get a preview of a career involving law enforcement. The Glendale Police Explorer Program is a selective volunteer program for young people aged 14 to 21 whose purpose is for the Explorers to get a hands-on experience of police work through competitions, community events and the 16-week long Explorer Academy.
“My most memorable experience during the Explorer Academy is when I realized my dream of becoming a drug inspector. I am grateful that I discovered this as a high school student because now I have a sense of my future plans in life,” said Explorer and Clark Magnet High School junior Rafael Babayan.
Besides areas of law enforcement, other organizations that are focused on the arts, such as the Visual Effects Society, attended the M.O.V.E. Fair. The Visual Effects Society is a non-profit professional honorary society whose mission is to advance the applications of visual effects and to provide professional enrichment and education, foster community, and industry recognition through domestic and international screenings and programs. Its 3,000 members include visual effects practitioners in all areas of entertainment: artists, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, and more.
“Although high school students cannot intern at the VES, there are certain programs in which we work with them to provide education about the arts and technology. I attended the MOVE Fair to share my passion and attract young adults, the future leaders of the media world, to later become members,” chair of VES Jeffrey A. Okun said.
There was also an opportunity for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students to talk to a representative from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology Steven Cornford, Ph.D. senior engineer, Strategic Systems Office. Cornford spoke to seniors on how to prepare for an internship once in college and to younger students on classes that will help them with a career in STEM.
The YMCA of the Foothills, one of the organizers of the fair, sent Mike Greco, the director of Youth Development, to supervise two booths and Gari Gervacio, the sports director, to take charge of registering students interested in coaching children at the Y.
The PTSA worked with the Foothills Y in gathering participants and acting as liaison with the high school for the fair. Students were asked to have a passport stamped after visiting each booth. Once the passport was filled, they were able to enter an opportunity drawing where they had a chance of winning gift cards from coffee and ice cream stores. The gift cards were purchased by the PTSA.