Fifth-graders at Long Beach’s Lindell Elementary School were inspired to explore and pursue their passions during two consecutive Career Awareness Day events. On May 17 and 18, an assortment of professionals provided information about their own vocational fields as well as general advice for happiness and success.

With the future on their minds as the end of their elementary school years approaches, the Lindell students learned that there are no limits as to how far dedication and hard work can take them in life. Volunteers from the community and surrounding areas presented on their responsibilities, experiences and journeys as professionals. 

Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winning Paralympian Lora Webster shared her story as a volleyball athlete and provided powerful lessons in overcoming challenges, while firefighters Brian Wheeler and Chris Hagen summarized their roles as emergency responders. Cliff and Will Skudin of Skudin Surf and Surf for All discussed the training that professional surfing requires and the rewarding outcome of following one’s goals. They additionally emphasized the value of volunteer work and noted that there are always opportunities to make a difference. 

“Find what works for you and what you’re good at, and chase your dreams,” Will Skudin encouraged. “Try a lot of things and gravitate toward what pulls you in the right direction.” 

A dental hygienist, graphic designer, nurse, business owner, voiceover specialist, toy sales representative and Flamenco dancer were among the other featured guests. They described their typical day at work and the qualifications and skills that their vocational fields require. They also shared the reasons they chose their careers and the most rewarding aspects of their occupations. Many sessions were infused with examples of teamwork, courage, determination and being upstanders.