MEXICO — Dozens of students from Rumford, Dixfield and Bethel high schools attended a fair Wednesday to consider future educational and job opportunities.

Devin Cole-Mason, left, and Trey Meader, both seniors at Telstar High School in Bethel, attended the College, Job and Trades Fair at Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico on Wednesday. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

Jenn Barlow, cooperative education instructor at Region 9 School  of Applied Technology, said the College, Job and Trades Fair at the vocational center was held because educators “really want  students to know and make sure that they know there are (many) pathways; they can go to college, they can do apprenticeships, (or) they can go right straight to work.

“And a lot of businesses will pay for them to go back to college, so we’re just trying to introduce all of the different avenues that are out there,” Barlow said.

Students from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Dirigo High School in Dixfield and Telstar High School in Bethel had an opportunity to talk with representatives from several community colleges, including Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Central Maine Community College in Auburn, Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle and Washington County Community College in Calais. Others represented were the University of Maine at Augusta, the University of Maine at Orono and Thomas College in Waterville.

Rumford Community Hospital, O’Reilly Auto Parts in Mexico, Sunday River Resort in Newry and Maine Machine Products is South Paris also had booths at the fair.

Dirigo High School senior Emily Jamison, a culinary arts major at Region 9, visited college representatives and said she “had a really (good) one-on-one conversation about business,” with a representative from Husson University.

Jamison hopes to major in business and marketing. She said her “dream college” is the University of Vermont, but she thinks the University of Southern Maine “is a pretty good school and Husson is great for marketing.”

By combining a business and marketing degree with her culinary arts experience Jamison said she might open a restaurant.

Cody Hemingway, left, a senior at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, and Emily Jamison, a senior at Dirigo High School in Dixfield, attended the College, Job and Trades Fair at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico on Wednesday. Hemingway is studying metal trades and Jamison is studying culinary arts at Region 9. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

Mountain Valley High School senior Cody Hemingway, who is studying metal trades at Region 9, said he’s interested in majoring in business or sports management. His top choice is a college in Hartford, Connecticut, but he thinks Husson University or Thomas College could interest him also.

“Business is really the No. 1 thing at Thomas College,” he said.

Metal trades “are actually kind of pretty cool,” he said, and an internship through Central Maine Community College with Maine Machine Products might interest him as a “fallback” plan.

Dirigo High School senior Chelsi Laing spoke to National Guard Senior Airman Leah Behram. Laing wants to be a nurse because she likes “helping others,” she said.

According to Behram, the National Guard offers free tuition for students to obtain their bachelor’s degree. “Whenever (they) finish training they already have their associate degree,” she said.

Sarah Olson, a junior at Mountain Valley High School, talked to Bill Egeler, dean of students at Northern Maine Community College of Presque Isle.

“I’m not 100% sure about what I want to do but nothing doesn’t really disinterest me; I’m just seeing what the options are,” she said. “I’ve thought about medical (careers) before, but I’m pretty much open to everything.”

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