Domonique McCoy-Parks likes to build things.

Whether he’s fashioning something out of wood or building with Legos, the Brookfield Middle School eighth-grader loves to keep busy.

“I can’t stand around and do nothing,” he said.

Could this trait correspond to a gainful career?

Domonique and other eighth-graders researched careers for about a month, looking at the training they would need, the kinds of skills that are required and the earning potential, said English language arts teacher Melanie Horn.

They took personality surveys to gauge what kinds of professions they might be suitable for, and learned how their social media accounts could impact the chances of getting hired.

Domonique settled on mechanical engineering, preparing a slide show and storyboard about the profession.

Ethan Koniwsky has a similar interest to Domonique in terms of building things, but he wants to take it in another direction – food science.

Ethan Koniwsky

Ethan Koniwsky

“I like to make things out of nothing,” he said.

Although he has aspirations to enter the military, Ethan said he likes the concept of finding a new recipe for the next monstrously popular energy drink – he’s a fan of Monster – and the money he could earn, around $50 an hour.

The student effort culminated on May 22, when adults from the worlds of retail, finance, sales, industry and the military talked to students about what they do, why they do it and what they get out if it.

Then, the students dressed in attire appropriate to their chosen professions, put up their storyboards in the gym and discussed their career choices with younger students, and then their families and members of the public at a Career Fair.

“They’re very well-informed,” Horn said. “If you speak to any of these kids, you can see that they spent a lot of time preparing for this.”

The fair also included representatives of trade schools, colleges and professions.

“The fact that they’ve done all of this research and looked at a specific career, it will really help them as they go on and become adults,” said Trumbull Career and Technical Center Counselor for Adult Education April Courtney.

Horn and Marissa Miller, her Career Fair co-organizer, said they were encouraged by the response of the students, community, and younger students.

“We’ve had fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students say they want to do this,” Miller said.

Noting this was the middle school’s first Career Fair, Horn said, “We’d like to do it annually.”


Top photo of Domonique McCoy-Parks.