FEBRUARY 1, 2020– HIGH SCHOOL VOCATION FORUM
Immanuel high school students and other select Fairfax County high school students, and their parents, attended a fair designed to encourage conversations about making more informed vocation decisions. We had students from a wide variety of high schools, including Langley, McLean, Marshall, Oakton, Centreville, Robert E Lee, Virginia Virtual Academy and Cedar Lane, and home-schooled students.
See comments from Fair participants below
There were five panel discussions in small groups focused on different topics, and a sixth panel during lunch in front of the entire group. The panels were led by 23 different panelists, including Immanuel young adults and older adults and several panelists from McLean Islamic Center. The panelists shared reflections on the paths they’ve travelled and the lessons they’ve learned.
Attendees could choose three panels to attend throughout the morning. Topics offered include:
- the role of college, including selecting a major and extra-curricular activities;
- using internships, summer and other vacation jobs and after-school activities to learn;
- how to start learning about finances, incomes and living costs;
- opportunities in the public sector (government, nonprofits) vs. the private sector (consulting, big companies, startups); and
- soliciting and filtering guidance on vocation choices from friends, parents, teachers and other mentors.
Following the morning small group discussions, the panel discussion during lunch was titled “How trying different stuff can result in surprising careers.”
Participants also visited a Resource Area to look at books, articles, bogs and websites on careers and vocations. They also received a Resource Table that lists useful resources for High School Students.
57 Attended the fair
FEEDBACK FROM PARTICIPANTS
Students, parents and panelists were enthusiastic about the fair. In a survey of participants (about 50% have responded so far), 2/3ds rated the fair “Excellent” and 1/3 rated it “Good.” Here are some of comments:
“I really enjoyed the rotating panels. It was very helpful to hear from others’ experiences and hear their tips and insights.”
“Speakers were amazing. The small groups worked great.”
“It was very insightful…I had a better lens on what I’d like to do.”
“You have a great program.”
“The multiple sessions were good…”
“Really great – just hearing people’s stories and hearing that people fail and move on.”
“Great information and panelists.”
“Excellent program. Invaluable. Good messages for young people.”
“I liked all of the panelists and what they had to say was helpful.”
“The rotating small group discussions worked well and were very informative and insightful.”
“Process was great.”
“Everything was very organized and time was managed extremely well. The guest speakers at the panels were very experienced and were sharing their experiences generously and answering all questions thoroughly. [The panels] were all great and provided lots of information.”
“Panels were great”
“Excellent panelists and receptive guests – student and parent.”
“Well structured, well organized, everything went smoothly as well!”
“Loved the panels!”
[From a panelist:] “Great experience sharing my knowledge with others. Helped me internalize and grow as well.”
DECEMBER 2019 — HIGH SCHOOL FORUM ON COLLEGE LIFE
High school students joined college students for an informal conversation over pizza about how college life is different from high school, what the social life is like, and how to navigate academics, new friends, dorm living, being away from home and the like.
14 Attended this dinner forum
JUNE 2019 – FINANCIAL LITERACY FORUM AND DINNER FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS
We brought together spirit- and stewardship-based themes with practical conversations about money. Jesus talked about money all the time, and so did we!
We started by playing the Game of Life (fun edition), and then enjoyed a dramatic reading from Pastor Katie and Billy Kluttz on stewardship and perspectives on how we use our resources. After that we split into small groups to discuss budgeting; school debt and cost of living, including rent, mortgages, child-rearing and child care; and, saving for graduate school and retirement (yes, retirement!). Our discussion leaders were Lauren Fox, Helen Payne and Lynley Ogilvie. The topics were selected based on a survey monkey we sent to participants ahead of time.
15 attended this dinner and forum
February 2019 – Vocation Forum
This forum was for High School students, young adults and all Immanuelites, regardless of age. We focused on this question: What am I called to do with my life? We weren’t looking for anyone to have answers, but we used the discussion to start asking more good questions.
The conversation was started by discussion leaders representing different generations whose employers included the Cleveland Indians, Headfirst Sports Programs, the White House, the US Congress and nonprofit organizations.
47 Attended this dinner forum on Vocation Sunday
MARCH 2018 — DESIGNING YOUR FUTURE: DO YOU DARE TO TRY TO MAKE YOUR CAREER AMAZING, EXCITING AND FUN?
Young adults were invited to a forum and dinner that reflected on these questions: Are you a young adult in the early stages of your career? Are you in college or grad school and wondering what’s next? Do you lie awake at night, tossing and turning, anxious about such questions as: “Can my work life be amazing and exciting? Can I really get paid to do what makes me happy? Can I ever earn enough money to move out of my parent’s basement/that little apartment?”
Attendees worked on a “marshmallow challenge” (see the picture above) and engaged in a career design exercise to help think about their futures productively.
24 Attended this evening dinner and forum
NOVEMBER 2017 — “FRIENDSGIVING” LUNCH
College students were invited to a “friendsgiving” lunch and round-table discussion on the Friday after Thanksgiving about career choices and related topics. Four young adults (post-college through early 30s) joined the group to describe their experiences in the working world, how they found their jobs, what they enjoy, and what they hope to do in the future. The conversation was inspired. The college students and young adults shared many wonderful and thoughtful reflections about their journeys.
12 Attended this lunch