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Explore Your Future: Real world work experiences in high school

January 18, 2022

Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom

Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. via Zoom

Explore Your Future

Explore Your Future is a series of FREE events to help Waterloo Region youth learn about some career options. While geared towards the early stage research needs of grade 7 to 10 students, it is open to any youth and family that are interested .

Note: This event takes place over Zoom. A link will be sent out to registered attendees about 5:30 p.m. on the day of the event.

Real world work experiences in high school

Having real world work experiences is a great way for youth to make decisions to inform their academic goals and career plans. As they makes plans to navigate their way through high school, youth and their families should know about a couple of programs that provide this opportunity while also developing many transferable skills.

In this session, our partners at Waterloo Region's English school boards will share a brief overview of the Specialist High Skills Major program and Co-op Education. They will give a general idea about each program and why to consider it as part of your high school education.

Another great option covered in detail in an earlier session is the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) which is available on our Youtube channel.

This session will be of special interest to students in grades 7 - 10.



Becky Zettl, WRDSB / Solange Saraiva, WCDSB

Abby Barbosa. WCDSB alumni

Abby Barbosa is a 2021 graduate from Resurrection CSS. She is currently attending Wilfrid Laurier University for their International Education Studies program. During her time in high school, Abby completed her SHSM with a business major. For the co-op component, Abby had the opportunity to work at an local elementary school to develop their 21st century skills program.

Chelsea Duckworth

Chelsea was a Non-Profit SHSM grad in 2015. After completing a co-op placement at a law firm, Chelsea's career interests became a little more clear. After taking a year off, Chelsea completed a BA in criminology with a minor in law and society at Wilfrid Laurier University. She now works for The Beanstalk Project to help students find their own path to meaningful careers!


Leonard Bumbacco, WCDSB / Kim Keena, WRDSB

Crystal Blezard, Realtor

Crystal's first job was in high school at Tim Hortons. She then did co-ops with the police station and the public health unit. After graduating university with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and working in a real estate office, she was a behavioural therapist for children with autism. She loved it but knew real estate was her true calling.

Jason Church, Account Manager

Jason went to Grand River Collegiate. He didn't know what he wanted to do after Grade 12. He had a co-op placement in the Auto Shop at Canadian Tire on Victoria Street in Kitchener changing tires and oil. That experience opened him up to the trades and a whole world he never knew existed. He is now an account manager at Hewson Brothers Building Supply.


  • Specialist High Skill Major program overview followed by 2 speakers sharing their experience with it. (15 minutes)

  • Q & A on SHSM (15 minutes)

  • Co-op Education overview followed by 2 speakers sharing their experience with it as part of their career story (15 minutes)

  • Q & A on Co-op Education in High School (15 minutes)

Join Us!

Thank you Sponsors!

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