Students from Herndon High School's college partnership program will spend Friday, Jan. 14, at the Reston Community Center learning about potential careers from professionals and how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy can be applied in the working world.
"It's just a wonderful experience for them," said Carolyn Corbin, HHS speech therapist and one of two college partnership advocates.
"It exposes the kids to professionals who are minorities who have become very successful in their chosen careers," she said, adding students will have the opportunity to ask the professionals questions.
Haywood Hopson, special events coordinator for the Reston Community Center, said this is the 20th year the celebratory-weekend has been held.
Through the three-day event, Hopson said Friday students from Herndon Middle School, Langston Hughes High School and South Lakes High School will join HHS students in the Team Career Challenge Day.
Corbin and Hopson explained this day is a time for students to not only learn about future careers and pursuing a higher education but also a way to apply King's philosophy to present-day obstacles.
"There will be workshops with professionals that will speak on how Dr. King's life impacted them," said Hopson.
"They will hear how the professionals apply Dr. Martin Luther King's philosophy of the world to the working world," said Corbin. "They will hear how [the professionals] had to rise above obstacles and what they may have had to overcome."
Corbin said students have been encouraged to participate in the career challenge essay contest, in addition to partaking in the question and answer sessions of the workshop.
The College Partnership group meets once a month and is comprised of a selected group of students, said Corbin, adding along with attending the workshop the group will also complete worksheets and hold discussions about King's work.
"It's always good to hear information like this from someone besides their parents and besides teachers," said Corbin about the diverse group of students. "You never know what might help a student along the way."
ALTHOUGH THEY WILL attend the event Friday with fellow students, Corbin said students have the option to attend the weekend events with their families or friends.
Those events include a community march on Sunday, Jan. 16 from the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne up to the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation — about a 15 to 20 minute walk.
After the walk Hopson said there will be a sing-along with the participating choirs.
On Monday, Jan. 17, the main celebration — themed "Twenty Years of Keeping the Promise and Uniting Cultures" — will begin at 10 a.m. at South Lakes High School and will include theater performances, teen and youth activities, an "I have a dream" workshop, a gospel choir, free child care, refreshments and will feature community and multi-cultural organization booths.
Hopson said although the event is free they are asking people bring a winter coat and/or food donation.