EWA BEACH, Hawaii -- Seventh and eighth grade students heard from 27 guest speakers who covered a wide variety of occupations from chemists to athletic trainer, and they were afforded the chance to ask detailed, first-hand questions about specific work, including the best and worst parts of the job, required training and salary amounts.

"It's been said many times that it takes a village to raise a child, and today's Career Day is a true testament to our ongoing commitment to each student at Ilima Intermediate," said Principal Christopher Bonilla. "It was important for our students to hear our guest speakers' real-life stories about how they used goal setting, learned from mistakes and needed grit to get to where they are today with their careers.

"It is our hope that our students continue to dream big and realize that they are supported by people who care about them, both in and outside of the classroom," the principal added.

Students learned important life lessons about hard work and perseverance and were urged to set goals for themselves.

"It's extremely important to set yourself a goal to finish high school to give yourself the mobility to do more and create more opportunities," said Brig. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy commanding general, Operations, 25th Infantry Division. "Set your goals, be tenacious and never ever give up in what you want to do."

Guest speakers provided a diverse variety of careers and occupations that included private investigator, biologist, nurse, real estate broker, athletics coach, firefighter, architect, Web designer, police officer, brigadier general and attorney, among many others.