COURT HOUSE - Middle Township High School’s sixth annual Career Day Dec.13 introduced students to more than 37 local professionals with careers and work fields spanning healthcare, sales, education, engineering, military, entertainment, real estate, and nonprofits.
According to a release, Darrell Edmonds, founder and chief executive officer of Friday is Tie Day, began the event in the Performing Arts Center with a presentation focused on empowering students to strive for their passions, overcome their adversities, and achieve their dreams in life – both personally and professionally.
He emphasized: “Career days are for you to discover, not decide.”
“You know what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, what you like to do,” Edmonds said. “Be great at what you know you love. Don’t wait for someone to discover you; discover yourself first.”
Guests representing a range of employers visited the high school’s classrooms and shared perspectives about their career paths.
They included workers from the Cape Regional Medical Center, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Cape May County Park and Zoo, Stone Harbor businesses, Middle Township Police Department and the New Jersey State Police. There were also professionals such as a paramedic, funeral home director, automotive care, physical therapist, detective, strength coach (and former Phillies right fielder), park ranger, and Cape May-Lewes Ferry patrol officer. Students eagerly interacted by asking questions and participating in lively discussions.
Interacting with 37-plus students per presentation might seem intimidating to some people, but not this group of seasoned professionals.
Each had his or her special way of getting students involved. For example, former Phillies right fielder-turned-strength coach Nick Ferdinand took students through a physical warmup in the school’s new Sports Performance Facility with ladders and slam balls.
“Our goal is to provide our students with options for life after graduation,” stated Principal George West. “Choosing a career, or trying to choose a career, at this age is challenging. Career paths have changed drastically over the last decade, especially with the rise in technology. We recognized that and made sure to adapt by inviting guests from the more traditional roles to those in newer, non-traditional fields.”
Edmonds urged the students to follow their dreams. It’s a tack he often takes with Friday is Tie Day, the nonprofit organization he founded to help mentor young men.
"Careers such as gaming exist today as a result of people following their passions," he said. “Careers like that didn’t exist 30 years ago, and more will emerge over the next 30 years. Become great at the things you’re passionate about and the world will create space for you.”