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Louise Archer Students Pick Careers

Annual career fair lets students hear about different jobs.

At Louise Archer Elementary last Thursday, a very important question was asked: how do they make a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup?

Two boys knew the answer, and chef Chris Brown applauded them.

"As soon as the chocolate hits [the mold], it sets up," said Brown during the school's annual career fair for fifth and sixth graders. An instructor with the Stratford University School of Culinary Arts, Brown also told students about using fractions in cooking.

The career fair brought in adults from various walks of life--from diplomat to psychologist, from sign-language interpreter to international marketing--to talk to students about what they do, and how they got into it.

"It's a very exciting field to be in," said Karen Bybee, an international sports event planner, as she was waiting for students to settle in for the next session. Bybee had worked for the International Federation of Soccer as well as for the 2002 Olympics. Her neighbor had asked her to come in and talk about her job. Bybee hoped the students would take away from her session her enthusiasm for her field.

"It's wonderful to come into an event and be involved in the planning and watch it come through to fruition," Bybee continued.

Although fellow presenter Mike Gardner works in drywall construction, he told students how he became the 2003 Redskins Hogette Fan of the Year. Gardner grew up on a dairy farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and dreamed about being a part of the Washington Redskins.

In 2000, Gardner got to kick the football on FedEx field. For him, that was a fantasy come true. Yet he encouraged students to find their own purpose in life.

"It may not be your dream, and that's fine, because we're all created different," Gardner said.

Sixth grader Aly Janka liked hearing about all the different careers, and especially enjoyed petting the dog that the veterinarian had brought in.

"I think it's fun. We get to learn new stuff," Aly said.

Like Aly, fellow sixth grader Ryan Walter appreciated that the presenters talked about the fun parts of their jobs, instead of complaining about their "three-hour commutes."

"We got to see what other people's jobs are like," Ryan said.