Submitted by Charter College

It can be difficult for someone just starting out to know “what they want to be when they grow up,” without actually understanding exactly what goes into different careers.

That’s the theory behind “Find Your Future,” an annual event presented by the Thurston Chamber Foundation and the Thurston County School Districts.

Taking place at Timberline High School (6120 Mullen Road SE) on Saturday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the event is open to all 8th through 12th grade students (and their parents) in Thurston County.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., students will hear directly from people employed in fields they might find interesting, while parents sit in separate presentations. Presenters are asked to share the good, the bad and the ugly, so attendees can get a more complete understanding of what they actually do on a daily basis.

Students are invited to select two careers from this list:

  • Accountants/Auditors
  • Architect
  • Attorney/Lawyer
  • Automotive Technician/Diesel Technician
  • Bus Driver/Transportation
  • Chefs/Cooks
  • Computer Programming
  • Construction/Trades
  • Cosmetologist/Hair Stylist
  • Counselor
  • Cyber Security
  • Dentist
  • Education Panel: Elementary, Middle and High School
  • Engineering – Civil

    Charter College Find Your Future event
    Thurston County High School students get the chance to explore career options at the Find Your Future event sponsored by Charter College on March 24. Photo courtesy: Charter College
  • Engineering – Mechanical and Aerospace
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Family Physician/Surgeon
  • Film Director
  • Fire Fighters/Paramedics
  • Forester/Forester Engineer
  • Graphic Design/Web Design
  • IDK Career Exploration
  • Law Enforcement – Police Department and Sheriff’s Office
  • Medical Imaging
  • Military: Army, Marines, Navy
  • Own Your Own Business
  • Performing Arts: Actor/Singer/Musician
  • Pharmacist/Pharmacy Technician
  • Photographers/Photojournalist
  • Registered Nurse/Medical Assistant/Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Social Worker
  • Veterinarian
  • Video Game Developer
  • Writer/Blogger

Parents are also invited to attend their choice of two presentations on:

  • Trends in Employment
  • Financing Your Child’s College
  • Planning Their Future

Attendees can then visit a resource fair, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., to talk directly to representatives of these businesses. Afterward, armed with new information, parents and students can discuss the options that make the most sense for them.

The 2016 survey showed how much attendees appreciated the event:

  • “A wonderful opportunity which helped to help plant some seeds for higher education,” said one student
  • Parents love this event as well. “My kids did not want to go and waste their Saturday. After the event was over, they both said ‘thank you’ for making them go. They loved it and found it very informative and we will be attend again. Thank you for putting on this event.”

Charter College is a sponsor of Find Your Future, as it aligns perfectly with Charter’s mission of helping people advance their lives through fulfilling, relevant careers in health care, business, information technology, aviation, and select trades.

“There are so many great people involved in this event,” said Charter College Lacey Campus President Dr. Bruce Higdon. “Charter College is honored to do our small part to help this event be successful.”

In addition to providing financial support for the event, Charter College instructors will take part in the health care presentations.

Medical Assistant Instructor Teresa Miller is looking forward to talking about her job. “I care deeply about people, and working as a Medical Assistant enables me to affect positive changes in my patients’ lives,” she says. “When you have a passion for what you do it becomes a calling and never feels like ‘work.’”

Lead Pharmacy Technician Instructor John Cohen shares, “I have loved being a Pharmacy Technician, and now an educator. I look forward to sharing that experience with these students and letting them know that not all healthcare jobs involve working directly with patients. Many of the behind-the-scenes tasks, like compounding of medication or getting an insurance approval can be done by the Pharmacy Technician, and are immensely rewarding.”

“I know what it’s like to be them, the fear, the excitement, and everything in between,” shares Lead Medical Assistant Instructor Thaisy Kirkhart. “I want them to know that if I did it, they can too and I’ll be there when they do.”

The Charter College Lacey campus offers residents of Thurston County career education opportunities in health care with blended on-campus programs in Medical Assistant and Pharmacy Technician.

In addition to Charter College, the event’s presenting sponsor is TwinStar Credit Unions; Northwest Sponsors are Print NW, South Puget Sound; and Olympic Sponsors are Wells Fargo, TAGS Awards & Specialties and Morningside.

For more information, or to register, visit


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