Career fair attracts over 1,500 studentsPOSTED: 11/5/15 11:37 AM
St. Maarten – The 2015 St. Maarten Career & Study Fair at the Belair Community Center attracted over 1,500 students yesterday morning from all high schools on the Dutch side. Coordinator Amy Arrindell told this newspaper that she is happy about the turnout and pointed out that over 21 business were represented while 19 colleges gave out information to students and interested persons.
Minister of Education Rita Bourne-Gumbs officially kicked off the fair with some encouraging words to students attending and encouraged them to get as much information as possible from the representatives at the study fair. The ultimate goal of this fair is to give students the proper information and insight into university admission requirements, academic orientation, and scholarship or financial aid information in order to make informed decisions for their future careers. This annual college fair has received many students over the years as well as an overwhelming response from colleges, universities and local businesses.
The organizers consist of a committee of career guidance counselors representing the secondary schools on the island, namely Milton Peters College, Sundial School, PSVE Academy, St. Maarten Academy, and St. Dominic High, as well as representation of the University of St. Martin. The theme for this years’ fair is “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today”
In 1992 a Career Guidance Counselor of the Milton Peters College had a vision to organize a Career and Study Fair for the students attending the institution however this was limited only to the students of Milton Peters College. After years of organizing and executing the fair exclusively for this group of students, the Career Guidance Counselor extended the invitation to the other high schools on the island.
The Career Guidance Counselors of these high schools, a representative of the University of St. Martin and of the SHTA came together in 2001 to organize it for all schools on the island and for the public. For many years, the Fair was held at the Milton Peters College, its original birth place. From 2003, as a result of the magnitude of the Fair and of the number of persons that it eventually had to accommodate, the venue to host the Fair moved to different locations on the island. For the past few years, Belair Community Center has become the place of gathering for all students and the public to benefit from what the fair has to offer.
The Committee believes that through this fair, the students can meet and get information from university representatives from St. Maarten, Curacao, Aruba, the United States and Holland to share information about their academic institutions.