PITTSFIELD -- Michael Bullock looked out at a couple hundred high school freshmen seated before him.
He asked them, "How many people woke up this morning and thought, ‘This could be a pivotal day'?"
Bullock is the vice president for student affairs and enrollment services at Berkshire Community College. He looked at the shrugging shoulders and the random few hands raised in the air.
"That's OK. I didn't expect to see a lot of hands raised. But I want you to know that today it could be," he said.
On Monday morning, ninth-graders from both Pittsfield and Taconic high schools visited the college to attend a career fair organized by their high schools and staffed by dozens of volunteer local business people and other professionals eager to share an overview of their trade.
Motivational speaker Mike Jaffe was also on hand to give the students a pep talk and to help convince the teenagers to start thinking about their futures now, instead of regretting not thinking about it later. He urged them to begin thinking about what they want to practice, to get better at, whether it's skateboarding or science.
"Why wait?" asked Jaffe. "Do you want to look back and wish you did something else or did something at all?"
In a sort of speed-dating fashion, small groups of students got to spend three, 10-minute sessions with a career professional. Some sessions were the students' choices, while others were assigned to a career field.
"I think it went well," said Ian Phair.
"I liked it, but I think the sessions could've been longer," Thomas Lee said.
Lori Moore of Berkshire Medical Center offered a presentation on the need for medical technicians in the laboratory science field.
"It's good for us to get to kids at an early age so they can have an awareness of what they might be able to do. Even if we only reach two out of 120 kids, it's worth it," she said.
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