All Ages Turn Out for “When I Grow Up” Expo

It’s never too early to starting thinking about a career. That’s why HISD parent Ovo Nwabudike decided to head out to the district’s first When I Grow Up Expo on Saturday, February 23, with her two elementary-aged children in tow.


“I have a 6- and a 9-year-old,” said Nwabudike, “so I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce them to the importance of having a meaningful career and being able to support yourself and your family.” 


Nwabudike and her children weren’t alone. Hundreds of students of all ages and their parents attended the expo, held in the parking lot of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. In addition to tents and booths featuring different careers and professions, the event also included many hands-on experiences, performances and demonstrations, including iron chef and auto competitions.


“It’s really important to get our kids thinking about college and a career at an early age,” said HISD’s College and Career Readiness Counselor Laura Jeffery. “We have many magnet and specialty schools that can expose our students to high demand, technical fields and allow them to earn a college associate’s degree while in high school.”


Also at the inaugural expo were representatives from the Society of Women Engineers. “Events like this help us reach our young girls and encourage them to pursue careers in engineering,” said Michelle Fleaker, who works at Chevron. “The earlier we start, the better.”