The High School High Tech program at Port St. Joe High School had a Career Fair Day Oct. 30 with students from the High School High Tech program and students from CAPE Academy attending.

The High School High Tech program at Port St. Joe High School had a Career Fair Day Oct. 30 with students from the High School High Tech program and students from CAPE Academy attending.

The students spent time with each of the business representatives, learning what was required educationally, the scope of the opportunities in different fields, what skills or aptitudes may be required, and what financial opportunities exist in many different fields.  There was an emphasis on high tech jobs and also employment opportunities that the individual students expressed an interest in. 

The businesses that were represented were: Debbie Hooper Photography discussing opportunities in Commercial and Ariel Photography.  Debbie and Jon wowed the students with examples of their photography and gave them clues as how to get started through “free” competitions.  FairPoint Communications staff gave the students information on the variety of career opportunities right here in Port St Joe with around 48 different types and levels of jobs available.  FairPoint has worked with HSHT students for over four years and are strong supporters and mentors. Gulf County School Counseling-Jordan Linton explained the number of different opportunities in counseling, psychology, and helping others that many of the students have interest in.  Bluewater Inet Group- Rick Lamberson explained the workings of a self-owned business dealing with web design and the requirements needed to run your own business as well as the tech skills needed for this field.  United States Marine Corps – Sgt. Goodwin provided information about training and career opportunities in the armed forces with one ROTC student ready to sign up. Gulf County Emergency Management, GIS Dept., Scott Warner impressed the students with all the technology required to “map” the county and showed them how the GIS Department was essential in time of emergencies by the ability to locate and predict storm damage.  Both the presenters and students wanted “more time” because the interest level of the students was so high.

High School High Tech students who participated were: Mary Branch, Jarkeice Davis, Nikki Fenn, Arnisha Harris, Katie Noble, Joe Price, Cameron Pryor, Jak Riley, Carl Sheline, Reed Smith, Corey Williams, and Torey Williams.  All the students from CAPE Academy also participated.  The students expressed their appreciation to all the presenters and were pleased with the amount of information they received regarding career opportunities and what will be required to reach their career goals. 

The Local Advisory Council of Business Representatives for the High School High Tech program met immediately after the Career Fair to discuss how to increase awareness of the High School High Tech program, increase business participation working  with the students in “Shadowing for a Day” and providing work opportunities during the summer for the paid internships. 

 Allison Chase, Program Director, for the ABLE Trust, which provides partial funding for the High School High Tech Program at Port St Joe High School through Dyslexia Research Institute in Tallahassee, spoke to the group and explained the scope and goals of the 35 High School High Tech programs throughout the State funded through ABLE Trust.  She bragged on the success of the Port St Joe program, stating that even though small and rural, it was one of the most outstanding in Florida.  Dr. Patricia Hardman, Program Director of this program and CEO of Dyslexia Research Institute, thanked all the businesses for providing information and for those who provide mentoring during the internships during the summer.  Without their local participation, the program could not be successful.  Lynn Hauck spoke to the group about becoming more involved, how the students are worked with all year and have to “earn” the right to participate in the paid internships during the summer through citizenship, community service, involvement in school activities, etc. 

One of the immediate community service projects for the HSHT students is to participate in the Thanksgiving Food Drive at Port St Joe High School.  They have recruited several groups to help increase the amount of food that can be donated to reach the needs of less fortunate citizens in Gulf County for Thanksgiving.  The Coastal Community Association, South Gulf County Fire Department, and Gulf Coast Community College will be helping them reach their goals.  Please donate food for this Thanksgiving.

Should you like to become involved as a mentor or business partner with the High School High Tech Program at Port St Joe High School, please contact Lynn Hauck at