There’s a lot more going on at the Oakdale High School Career Center than the community may realize.
It is the intention as well as the passion of Career and Scholarship Technician Lisa Jones to see that with this there is change. As a 1990 OHS alum, former substitute and parent to OJUSD students, Jones shares a personal as well as professional investment in the school.
“My heart lies here at Oakdale High School,” Jones shared, noting her permanent status to the technician position at the start of the school year. “So to be back and be in this position, that wasn’t a position back in the day. When we were seniors we talked to our counselors.
“We have 10 fabulous computers for students to utilize at any time of the day,” she continued.
The OHS Career Center encompasses varying areas of student needs from scholarship opportunities, work permits, tutoring information, job placement and volunteer opportunities.
As the only high school in a community of 20,000-plus, there is unique opportunity for the high school and the community to mesh.
“We do a lot of community service,” Jones said, “and I think people in the community aren’t really truly aware.”
The Career and Scholarship Technician shared that a portion of her job is working with community groups, clubs and businesses in the way of creating volunteer opportunity for the student body. She shared that volunteer hours for students can serve them on many fronts, from scholarships to helping build the résumé of a student who’s not able to enter the work force but is able to give time.
“In some of the classes I tell students, this is your opportunity to give back to our community,” she said. “This is how you create a résumé for yourself to go out into the workforce from high school.”
Jones also works with students, as well as teachers on the Career Cruising Program, a simple 116 question computerized questionnaire to aid students with finding a proper fit, based on what they enjoy.
“College isn’t for everyone and I totally get it,” she noted. “So, I’m here to help them find part time work if they need to. To create that cover letter or résumé to get them in the direction they need to go.”
Jones also knows community participation is key.
“I’m really interested in partnering with the community and getting them to reach out to inform us of any volunteer of job opportunities,” she said. “I really want to build on our scholarships. This community is so generous.
“If someone is thinking … I’d like to donate some money to the high school, scholarships are a great way,” Jones noted. “A hundred dollars can go a long way for one student. They (the sponsor) set the criteria. We have a scholarship committee that can make the selection or they can.”
Jones shared she’s worked hard at making the Career Center a welcoming atmosphere for students. A place they will utilize for whatever the need: be it a homework space, or Career Cruising or job hunting.
“I’m so excited to come to work,” she said. “Helping the kids is my love and passion. I want to give them every opportunity that’s out there for them.”
To contact Jones call 848-7197 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.