By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – More than 400 high school students from Springfield and Enfield, Conn., received a leg up in planning their academic and career future at the 12th annual “Building Your Future” Conference at Western New England University (WNE) on Jan. 7.
A partnership between MassMutual and the university, the goal of the daylong event is to “provide information to better prepare for the future,” Pamela Mathison, Community Responsibility consultant for MassMutual, explained to Reminder Publications.
The event was free of charge and open to the more than 700 students who are part of the MassMutual Education Achievers. That program provides scholarships, mentoring and internship opportunities to qualified high school students in the area, Mathison said.
She said the conference was designed to assist high school sophomores, juniors and seniors understand what they should be doing at this point in their lives to prepare for college and a career.
The students enrolled in their choice of three classes throughout the day, which ranged from robotic surgery and building a computer to careers in the courtroom and financial planning. There were also classes addressing subject such as getting into college, and hot to write an effective college essay.
WSE Professor Brenda Garton and ABC40 reporter Brittany Decker (and WNE alumni) conducted one class entitled “Do you belong on television?” which was then followed by what Mathison was a very important class “How to Make a Good First Impression.”
“The conference helps [the students] understand why education is so important,” Mathison said.