6,000 8th graders explore future career opportunities - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

6,000 8th graders explore future career opportunities

The Pathways2Possibilities Expo exposed thousands of eighth graders from across South Mississippi to 19-pathways, or clusters of career opportunities. (Photo source: WLOX) The Pathways2Possibilities Expo exposed thousands of eighth graders from across South Mississippi to 19-pathways, or clusters of career opportunities. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Careers they have only heard or read about came to life Wednesday for thousands of eighth graders. They converged at the Coast Convention Center in Biloxi for the third annual "Pathways2Possibilities" Expo. Young people learned about jobs that could be in their future.

They held cute and cuddly chicks to learn about the poultry industry in Mississippi. When asked if she'd like to take care of animals, Meg McDougal from Bayou View Middle School replied, "Maybe, yeah." 

Another group of students played with snakes. Many quickly learned that working with the reptiles might not be for them.

The Pathways2Possibilities Expo exposed thousands of eighth graders from across South Mississippi to 19-pathways, or clusters of career opportunities. They got a chance to touch, try out the equipment, gear and tools, and hear from people working in the field about the education and skills required to reach their goals.

"I really like the engineering stuff, all these programs here. It's pretty cool, like the flying drones," said Thomas Coble from Hancock Middle School.

"I'd like to be a video game developer. I looked it up in school, because we had to do that, and it was really fun," said Logan Serpas from Pearl River Central Middle School.

Teachers say eighth grade is an important time for hands-on career exploration.

"Our children going into ninth grade next year do need to know what track they're on, whether they're going to go into the Vo-tech school, whether they're college bound, or they're just going to head into a career. So this is the time for them to make that decision," said Hancock Middle School Teacher Jessica Neff.

This year's P2P Expo features more military activities and college representatives. About 6,000 eighth graders from 27 schools will participate during the two-day event. Ole Miss will be conducting a study to look at whether P2P has had any impact on the participants.

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