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4-H and CD Educators Launch Career Exploration Programming


This month, educators from Community Development and 4-H Youth Development led Career Awareness programming at two local elementary schools. Dustin H., Rachael S., and Kayla W. went to Central Catholic and St. Philip Neri schools to talk about different career options. 

One of the lessons was on the process of becoming an elected official. Using a law passed during the 2021 Indiana Legislative Session, making Indiana-grown popcorn the official state snack, students discussed the bill and participated in a mock voting activity. Students got to vote on supporting or opposing the bill and learned how the voting process works. City-Councillor Crista Carlino spoke to students in a pre-recorded interview and explained why she chose to pursue a career in elected office. 

PEMC Educator, Dustin H., explained the organization of the month-long programming. 

“We piloted a new, four session Career Exploration Program at Central Catholic and St. Philip Neri schools (both are Notre Dame ACE Academies) to spark interest in four local Opportunity Industries: Health and Life Sciences, Government, Transportation and Logistics, and Building and Construction. Each session included a hands-on experiential learning activity, a career video, and connection to Employability Skills.

Youth counted beads (representing pills) and compounded a hand cream to experience being a pharmacist. A debate over whether popcorn should be Indiana’s state snack gave youth a glimpse into being an elected official. Students built and flew gliders to learn about the physical forces pilots have to navigate in order to fly. Finally, youth engineered egg catchers to help farmers safely collect eggs.”

Students had lots to say about what they learned during this program!: 

"Chickens are in factories"

"I learned how to build a safe place for an egg so it doesn't break"

"I learned how to build an egg catcher"

"I learned more about jobs"

"I learned about different types of jobs"

"Popcorn from IN is the new state snack"

Dustin H. extends special appreciation to the various partners who helped make this program a success: “We want to especially thank Dr. Jessica Smith, City-County Councillor Crista Carlino, and Pilot Ryan Lynch for their willingness to share about their careers through a video. Check out their videos on our YouTube page! Also, thank you to RightFit for funding this new program.

Interested in bringing this program to your school or organization? Please email Dustin H. at

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