Polk County 4-H hosts virtual career exploration series

Young boy thinking with pencil to his chin.

Altoona, IA (January 4, 2021) –Polk County 4-H will host Oh the Places You Could Go, a free eight-part virtual career exploration series, for youth in grades 4-12. This career exploration series is open to any and all youth beginning January 12. The series will allow youth to learn from 15 local professionals and community leaders about their career, what youth need to do to in order to prepare for their future, and how 4-H supports youth through this process.  
“A key component of 4-H is to challenge young people by actively preparing them for their future,” said Megan Freel, 4-H and Family Life Educator for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County. “One way 4-H challenges youth is through organized 4-H Clubs led by caring adult volunteers. But another critical way 4-H prepares young people is by offering opportunities, programs, and events – like this virtual career exploration series. Polk County 4-H is excited to introduce young people to a diverse group of area professionals from all backgrounds and disciplines, and we hope they walk away inspired for what their future holds.”
Polk County 4-H recruited professionals from varying fields and occupations, and each hour-long session features two-three different speakers. The 2021 Oh the Places You Could Go speaker line-up includes:
January 12, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (therapy and architecture)

  • Crystal Berkenes, Board Certified Music Therapist, Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide
  • Hoang Tran, Architect, INVISION

January 19, 4:00-5:00 p.m. (nutrition and law)

  • Joshua V. Barr, Esq., Director of Civil & Human Rights, City of Des Moines
  • Anne Cundiff, Dietician, Hy-Vee

Feburary 8,7:00-8:00 p.m. (print and television journalism)

  • Eric Hanson, News Anchor, KCCI
  • Ty Rushing, Managing Editor, Northwest Iowa Review

February 22, 5:00-6:00 p.m. (criminal justice and real estate)

  • Captain Lillie Miller, Des Moines Police Department
  • Ryan Rohlf, Realtor, Keller Williams Legacy Group

March 11, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (social work, therapy, and tool and die)

  • Mandy Ounlokham, Inside Sales/Customer Service, PTSolutions
  • Tony Raymer, Social Worker and Play Therapist, Candeo

April 5, 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ag and STEM)

  • Maya Hayslett, 4-H Crop Sciences Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
  • Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, Director, Iowa Space Grant Consortium
  • Amy Powell, 4-H Animal Sciences Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach

April 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (medical and dentistry)

  • Dr. Wanakee Carr, MD OBGYN, Genesis Health Group
  • Dr. Chad Johnson, DDS, Veranda Dentistry

May 11, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

  • College and Career Prep Workshop with 4-H educators

Interested youth can register for one, or all, of the online sessions at www.tinyurl.com/4HCareerSeries. For more information about other Polk County 4-H opportunities visit https://www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/4h.
About Polk County 4-H
Polk County 4-Hthrough ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk Countychallenges youth to actively prepare for their future by exploring college and career options, and encourages them to build skills that improve their communities today. Through 4-H programming youth build leadership, citizenship, communication, and life skills in youth as well as provide a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. For more information on Polk County 4-H visit www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/4hor to learn more about all the programs offered by Polk County Extension visit www.extension.iastate.edu/polk.
About Polk County Extension
For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk Countyhas served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the Polk County Extension office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance and meet the needs of local residents and community. For 2021 ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County will focus K-12 youth outreach; health, wellbeing, and nutrition; and agriculture and natural resources. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County is part of a 99-county campus serving all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.

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