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PHS Students Explore Careers, Near and Far

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PHS Students Explore Careers, Near and Far
Posted on 03/09/2021
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual connections have allowed students to do career exploration far beyond the typical reach of the school, according to Andrea Levinsky, extended learning opportunities (ELO) coordinator at Portland High School.

She wrote the following description of ELO opportunities for PHS students:

“Students often do informational interviews, but not often with the CEO of their favorite company. Two Portland High Students interested in creating their own streetwear brand had the opportunity to connect virtually with and ask questions to Keith Jones, the CEO of Tulones, a streetwear company out of Atlanta, Georgia. He talked to the students about how he started his business, tips for creating a brand, and how to make sure your designs are protected.

Two Portland High School students are able to do a virtual internship with Greiby Janaky Medina, an author out of New York City who is a Portland High School alum. The students were able to understand the writing and publishing industry directly from someone participating in this work in a big city!

While virtual meetings were always possible, the prevalence of them in the era of COVID has opened up a seemingly new world of possibilities.

At a panel on careers in engineering, students were able to hear from engineers from Portland, Chicago, Ghana, and New York City all on one call. This structure helps students broaden their horizons of where they might see themselves in the future.

Two filmmakers from the Boston area, Cody Signore and André Phillips, helped students understand the film industry in New England and beyond.

Students continue to maintain the ability to maintain local connections as well. A panel of Portland Public Schools alumni spoke on careers in social justice, with presenters from Chance to Advance, The Maine Development Foundation, Disability Rights Maine, and the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine.

A panel on careers related to law that for which one doesn’t need a law degree, featured a paralegal from the law firm Norman, Hansen, and DeTroy, the Program Director of Democracy Maine, an advocate from the Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, the Project Coordinator from the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, and a Mediator from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services."

Businesses, organizations and mentors interested in connecting with students, should contact Andrea Levinsky, Portland High School ELO coordinator, at [email protected]