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Symposium to help students plan for future

Author: Eileen Fitzgerald
STAFF WRITER

Middle and high school students and their parents across the region can learn about such topics as careers, social and health responsibility, and college financial aid planning during a symposium Saturday at WestConn. The Excellence in Education Symposium will be held at the Student Center on the midtown campus of Western Connecticut State University, off White Street, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The program is free and open to everyone but it targets African-Americans, said Samuel Hyman, a member of the board of the Hord Foundation, which sponsors the event along with Concerned Black Men of Danbury, the Coalition of African-American Churches, and Western Connecticut State University.

The theme of the annual event is "2010 and Beyond."

"What we try to do is stimulate and inspire middle and high school students about their future and to provide parents with tools to provide support to their children," Hyman said.
The program starts with registration and a continental breakfast, followed by four seminar workshops, lunch and a raffle.

Two workshops for middle school students are "Health and Social Responsibility" and "Academic Well-being." Students will hear about building healthy relationships, about the importance of nutrition and exercise, and how to make academic choices, the value of volunteerism and taking part in extra activities at school, and the importance of academic excellence.

A third workshop, on career development, will discuss academic and vocational careers and requirements to enter different professions.

Programs for high school students will be divided into two groups -- ninth- and 10th-graders and 11th- and 12th-graders. Topics include eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases, and the need to be a positive role model to younger siblings.

The workshops on academic well-being will include advice about obtaining mentors, getting help from school guidance counselors, and mapping college and career plans.

A third workshop will focus on career development, tips for dressing properly, codes of conduct in the workplace, key elements in filling out applications, how to write a resume or academic portfolio, and how to interview for college.

Students at WestConn will give the students tours of the campus.

Contact Eileen FitzGerald
at  eileenf@newstimes.com
or at (203) 731-3333.

Copyright, 2007, The News-Times (Danbury, CT)

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