Local Professionals Inspire Students to Attain Post Secondary Education

posted on March 12, 2013
by Bryan Steinher
6-8 Grade Math Teacher & Former AmeriCorps Member

On Friday, March 8, Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School hosted its annual Parent Career Day, providing students with a chance to learn about professional opportunities that exist here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  The school’s GEAR UP program coordinator, Bryan Steinher, arranged the event. 

GEAR UP is a US Department of Education program working to significantly increase the number of students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.  To achieve this goal, the program focuses on three core activities:

  • Improving the academic performance of South Dakota’s GEAR UP students and preparing them for postsecondary education;
  • Increasing high school graduation rates and participation in postsecondary education among South Dakota’s GEAR UP students; and
  • Expanding the educational expectations of South Dakota’s GEAR UP students, and increasing student and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and financing.

Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School holds its annual Parent Career Day to get students thinking about what career path would best suit them, and to support students’ efforts to attain education beyond high school.

Ten parents, including a firefighter, a social worker, an electrician, a police officer, and a plumbing and heating professional, presented to the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades at the event.  Other parents who presented included a contractor, a physical therapist and a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and a Lakota Funds representative. 

Parent Career Day afforded students the opportunity to think about their ambitions and discuss how they might achieve them with professionals who are currently making a difference in their community.  Presenters encouraged students to pursue and develop skills that they can bring back to their community to make a positive impact. 

Before and after the event students were able to spend time reflecting on their future and consider some careers they would like to pursue after high school.

For more information about GEAR UP contact Bryan Steinher at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary at 605/867-2801