J.D. Clifton students think future career opportunities

Students at J.D. Clifton Elementary School dressed up for the school’s annual career day on Wednesday and heard from parents and community members about the potential job opportunities in Southwest Louisiana.

More than 50 guests attended, including people who trained at universities and career or technical schools. Pam Bell, principal, said the goal was to let pre-K through second grade students know every available option “to get them college and career ready.”

Courtney Rochon, a registered nurse at the school’s Christus St. Patrick Hospital School-Based Health Center, said positive adult mentors can help children better understand their career potential.

“A lot of kids don’t know that they can be whatever they want,” she said. “They may see a lot of poverty and a lot of crime, but they need to know that they don’t have to take that route.”

Nichole Thibodeaux, librarian and career day chairwoman, said a lack of information can leave students with limited career aspirations. Career day, she said, is intended to “inspire them to try to see more than just a teacher or president.”

“There are other job opportunities that you’ve never thought of,” she said.

Information alone will not help students reach their career goals, Thibodeaux said.

“Right now, it’s their reading skills,” she said. “Reading is the biggest issue for them to cross over into the skills necessary to train for these dream jobs.”

Making sure students are reading at their grade level is the school’s “number one focus,” Bell said.

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Courtney Rochon, registered nurse, speaks to J.D. Clifton Elementary students Wednesday at the school’s annual career day.

MarlisaHardingEducation Reporter
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