Mountainside resident Ana, 13, knows what she wants to do with her life – help those in need by becoming a doctor, a decision inspired by her discussion about the medical field with pediatric ER nurse Celine Tuazon during a Hope through Housing Career Conversations event.

“It was fun to be able to think about what my dream career will look like,” she said. “It’s a good activity for kids to find out what they like or what they’re good at.”

Career Conversations, held throughout the year, allow children to explore an array of careers. The program is especially important for children in low-income households because it opens doors to new paths they may otherwise never discover.

Celine, a member of Woman of Hope, walked children through her 10 years of experience in the medical field. Celine said she was drawn to the activity because she would have loved to have had a similar opportunity as a child.

Villaggio resident Lin, 11, picked Celine’s brain during the one-hour session, asking about the education she’ll need to accomplish her dream of becoming a nurse.

At Sunset Heights, children also met with an illustrator to learn more about how to become a cartoonist – and even received comical caricatures of themselves.

Studies show that starting early with career-related learning broadens children’s horizons, inspiring them to reach higher and exposing them to a wide range of work experiences and journeys.

“Similar to my upbringing, sometimes these conversations are not being had at home,” Celine said. “Career Conversations gives kids the opportunity to look at the various career options available.”

In conjunction with the activity and with the help of 12 volunteers, Hope through Housing also hosted six Read with Kids with a Career Conversation theme events across communities in San Diego, Montclair, Pomona and Rancho Cucamonga to reinforce the importance of career-readiness.

Volunteers led reading groups in which children took turns reading from “What Shoes Will You Wear?” by Julia Cook. The book was generously donated by the Women of Hope to reinforce the many career options available to children and to coincide with career conversations.

In the book, twins Myrtle and Erytle learn about the shoes used for different jobs – such as how a chef will use nonslip shoes, a construction worker will wear steel-toed boots or a retail worker might wear flats.


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