North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Marysville students explore options at Opportunity Expo


Christopher Andersson

a digital impression of teeth using some of the local dentist office's tools during the Marysville School District's Opportunity Expo on April 18.

Marysville students met with numerous colleges, businesses, apprenticeship programs and other organizations during this year's Opportunity Expo on April 18.

Marysville School District juniors came to Everett Community College during the day to get tours of the campus and meet numerous representatives about their potential futures.

This is the sixth year of the event.

"Currently we have 100 vendors, two-year and four-year [colleges], apprenticeship programs, military and business leaders from around the community engaged with all of our juniors from the district," said Dave Carpenter, a career and college readiness counselor with the district.

Representatives came from various colleges around the Puget Sound and western U.S., local government representatives from various departments and businesses offering internships or career opportunities.

"We run this event for our students to help them see that they have a lot of options in their future and, really, the sky is the limit," said Jodi Runyon, one of the district's organizers of the event and the executive assistant to the superintendent.

Runyon said that preferably every child would be college-bound "but we know that's not the case for every child and we want them to know there's opportunities that exist for them," she said.

Some local organizations also brought demonstrations to show students what the job was like.

"It was super cool to see the technology," said Kobe Baumann who experienced Northwest Smile Design's dentistry equipment.

"It's like a video game," but with a different set of knowledge," said Josiah Gould about the technology he got to try.

All juniors from the district came to the expo, as well as some seniors, some students from the Lakewood School District and some students from other nearby districts.

Carpenter said that the junior year is important for students to start planning.

"Kids have just taken their SATs. They're starting to look at colleges. We've brought the colleges to them so they can look at that route," he said.

"They can plan, and in the fall when they're ready to see us, they've done at least the start of the legwork," he said.

Runyon said it helps students who aren't yet sure what they want to pursue after high school.

"It provides a window that they may have not looked through in the past," she said.

"They may walk out with maybe a whole new outlook on a career that they weren't looking at," said Carpenter.

Other students just gain additional knowledge about what they were already planning for.

"Some kids know what they want to do and they come here to bolster that. If they've thought about going to the University of Washington or Washington State University they can bolster that and look at the other options," said Runyon.

The event is brought to students through the work of many partners, said Runyon.

"This expo is different and dynamic because of the partnership we've brought together with Marysville Rotary, the Tulalip Tribes, Everett Community College, Washington State University, the University of North Puget Sound," she said.

She wanted to thank everyone who helps make the event.

"We couldn't do this without the partnership that we have with [Marysville] Rotary, Tulalip Tribes and the Everett Community College campus. So it works because of that and I'm glad we're able to do it," she said.


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