Last week, the High School High Tech students at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School received real-world exposure to where they hope to go after school is over.

The program, funded by The Able Trust, Vocational Rehabilitation and the Alfred I. DuPont Foundation, is facilitated by the Dyslexia Research Institute of Tallahassee.

The HSHT program, now in its 12th year in Port St. Joe, is a career mentoring program for students with learning challenges in traditional mainstream classrooms.

“Our goal is to expose our students to many varied career options to expand their possibilities,” said Dr. Pat Hardman from the Dyslexia Research Institute.

The Career Fair brought in professionals from seven companies or career path for two hours to talk to the students about how and why they chose their path, with the students armed with plenty of questions and doing plenty of note-taking.

In a sense, the Fair also provides something of an introduction to interviewing and speaking professionally.

After sessions with individual representatives, the students discussed each career in short sessions and roundtable groups.

The list of professionals included Doran McMullon of A Design by Doran; Hobson Fulmer from the Apalachicola Animal Clinic; Kristi Dorman from Capital City Bank; Susan Machemer, Jimmy Alford, Leonard Bailey and Robin Gautier from Consolidated Communications; Chris Josten from Curiosity Marketing; Cindy Little from Cut N Up; and Tracy Ross, Sonya Smith and Lori Lacivita from Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf.

Of note, Machemer has participated in every Career Fair over the 12 years of the HSHT program, with Consolidated Communications and previously Fairpoint Communications.

The company has also offered mentorships to students each year.