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Guest Speakers Give LBHS Students Interesting Career Insight

Long Beach High School students along with guest speakers. thumbnail257677

Long Beach High School students involved in the school’s SMILE program recently had the opportunity to hear two special guest speakers give an overview of their careers. In March, the guest speaker in attendance was Justice Karen Gopee, Judge of the New York Supreme Court 11th Judicial District. In April, Akil Coad, NFL Vice President of Football Operations and Compliance met with students. Additionally, Mr. Coad is a graduate of Long Beach High School.

Both, Justice Gopee and Mr. Coad, attended the after-school program for close to an hour, gave an in-depth overview of their respective positions and answered questions from the students about the path that led them to the career they are in today.

Justice Gopee was elected in November 2021 and currently presides in Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term, after serving as a judge in Queens County since 2016. She has presided over the Youth Part, the Domestic Violence Part as well as the Specialty Felony Waiver Part, working to improve alternative to incarceration dispositions and increasing programming options. She is the first Indo-Caribbean jurist elected and appointed to the bench in New York State. Students asked questions about the legal system as well as questions about pursuing a career in the legal system.

Mr. Coad began his NFL career in 2001 as an Operations Assistant with the New York Jets. Today, he is responsible for enforcing uniform and equipment rules and on-field policy. He has represented Football Operations by overseeing game operations for Pro Bowl and as a team liaison for the Super Bowl and the International Series in London. He shared with the students all the different roles in the NFL and explained people usually only think about the football players, but many jobs exist behind the scenes that play an important part of the bigger organization.

Each of the speakers encouraged the students to dream big, work hard and remember the possibilities are endless with continued focus and determination.

The mission of the SMILE Program is to empower individuals to become more self-aware and to develop the skills necessary to make informed decisions about their lives. SMILE strives to provide resources and support to help individuals gain insight into their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to foster a greater understanding of the impact of their choices on their lives and the lives of those around them.

Special thanks to LBHS SMILE Advisors Patricia Baron, Ian Butler, Shelly Cepeda, Brian Horne, Natasha Nurse, Janna Ostroff and Kristin Susko.

Date Added: 4/23/2024