Wonder of Work Westman

Careertrek expands programming

Analyzing crime scenes, designing websites, mapping waterways – it’s all in a days’ work for young people taking part in Career Trek’s Westman Project.

Since Career Trek expanded in 2009 and set up shop in Brandon and the surrounding area, a whole new group of rural youth are getting a chance to explore dozens of careers.

Having started as a pilot project, programming in Westman is now running on a more permanent basis. The region west of Winnipeg was a perfect fit, says Curriculum Developer Elena Anciro. Career Trek was looking to grow and there were area school divisions eager to get on board. Elena would like to see Career Trek continue to extend its reach across the province – and one day the country.

WM_03“We eventually want to be everywhere,” she says.

More than 100 participants spend their Saturdays from January to March getting hands-on experience in various careers while learning from post-secondary students at Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba Emergency Services College.

Teachers and parents have raved about the program since its launch, indicating it’s helped build confidence in the students and provided them with a unique opportunity. “Feedback from participants, families, and schools was very positive,” Elena says.

WM_02One of the reasons could be because kids not only learn about different careers but they get a chance to really experience them. As police officers they undertake proper arrest techniques; as international commodity officers they import and export; as bio-anthropologists they analyze human and animal bones to detect gender; and as nurses they practice bedside manner.

Their imaginations kick into overdrive when participants put on their entrepreneurial hat, building a business based on an inspiration item they pull from a bucket. On one particular day, a Hawaiian necklace led to the opening of a travel agency and a costume emporium. “The ideas were really great.” Elena says. “They were endless.”

The Westman Project is funded by:

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