Futures 11 prepares juniors for life after high school
(From left) Steven Dean, from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, greets Matthew Gengenbach from Harford Technical High School during the fourth annual Futures 11 event at Harford Community College March 29. During this event, students had a chance to attend workshops and network with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, professionals, including several APG employees.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - More than 500 11th graders from Harford County Public Schools' magnet programs attended the fourth annual Futures 11 conference at Harford Community College March 27.

HCPS, HCC, Harford County Government, Harford Chamber of Commerce and the Susquehanna Workforce network teamed up to host the conference. Students had a chance to attend workshops and network with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, professionals, including several APG employees. CECOM and APG Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell served as the event's keynote speaker. The event was also attended by ATEC Commander Maj. Genero Dellarocco, 20th Support (CBRNE) Commander Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith and CECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Kennis Dent.

Workshop topics included entrepreneurship, problem solving, college interviews, SAT/ACT preparation, financing college, and hot jobs in Harford County.

CERDEC Educational Outreach Lead Erica Bertoli said that the event creates an opportunity for juniors to experience a professional symposium and learn how to create goals.

"The students come to the event prepared to learn, and as a member of the APG STEM team, it is exciting to interact with the future of our workforce," said Bertoli.

Bertoli and Stacey Lambert, from CERDEC facilitated a workshop called "What's in Your Future." Two CERDEC engineers Glenda Mendiola and Michael Seibert shared their educational background and experiences working for the federal government. They also talked about security clearances and using social media responsibly, so it doesn't jeopardize their career goals. "The students come to the event prepared to learn, and as a member of the APG STEM team, it is exciting to interact with the future of our workforce," said Bertoli.

Three CERDEC engineers, Lee Arnhold, Anthony Lambert and John Suarez, participated in the Creative Problem Solving workshop. The students were given a problem to solve and engineers served as team leaders to guide their team through the problem to completion.

Professionals from ECBC, JPEO-CBD and ARL also attended the event and gave students information about careers and internships.

"Organizations like ECBC participate in Futures 11, because we realize that it is vital to our mission to inspire, develop and attract future STEM professionals who are capable of finding solutions to our nation's future challenges. It is critical for today's students to know how to best prepare for tomorrow's jobs," said Jennifer Carroll an outreach specialist from ECBC.

Nathan Haskell from Harford Technical High School said that he learned it will take careful planning to achieve his goal of becoming an engineer. He found the scholarship and college admissions information helpful as he is starting to make financial plans for college.

"It is important to think ahead, start planning for your career in high school," Haskell said. "There are multiple steps involved."

Page last updated Thu April 4th, 2013 at 11:37