By Leah Eclavea, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs
DEDEDO, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas personnel promoted career opportunities in the fields of engineering and communications during a career day event at Astumbo Middle School in Dededo, March 17.
The goal of the College, Career and Service Learning Awareness event was to provide middle school students the opportunity to meet professionals and to learn about different careers. Student pre-event surveys indicated they were primarily interested in careers in the military, engineering and communication fields.
NAVFAC Marianas Assistant Operations Officer Lt. Jesus Pruneda delivered a presentation emphasizing the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. He said his high achievements in these subjects paved the way for a rewarding career in the Navy as an engineer.
"It's important to get the young students into engineering because one day they will be the ones running Guam Power Authority, Guam Waterworks Authority, Public Works and other agencies that deliver critical resources and sustain life," Pruneda said. "It lets them see that engineering is more than just the hard work. It's seeing the fruits of your labor actually manifested into something tangible."
Pruneda said the students were very interested and asked a lot of good questions about the engineering field. He believed several of the students were inspired to become engineers by the end of the event.
"Our students are imaginative, so we encourage them to find their passion and connection to the world," said Wendy Medina, event coordinator and guidance counselor, Astumbo Middle School. "Engineering fascinates our students because they want to know how things are designed, built, or work."
NAVFAC Marianas Public Affairs Officer Catherine Norton spoke to 8th grade students about her career path. She said her career began as a broadcast journalist straight out of college with a communications degree, and today she manages all aspects of NAVFAC Marianas' public affairs program. She also spoke about the different types of careers that are possible with a communications background and emphasized the importance of education.
"It was extremely gratifying to be able to share my knowledge and professional experiences," she said. "Although these middle school students have several years before high school graduation, it's never too early to start thinking about career aspirations, and to begin pursuing their professional goals."
Norton and Pruneda impressed upon the students the importance of their education as a tool toward pursuing their dreams.
"One of our goals at NAVFAC is to enhance the communities in which we live and work," said Norton. "Events such as this provide us the opportunity to promote STEM, and to make meaningful contributions towards the professional success of our young students."