LAFAYETTE — More than 2,000 Lafayette high school juniors and seniors converged at the Cajundome Convention Center on Friday to preview colleges and career paths available to them.
The daylong event attracted representatives from universities, colleges, community colleges, technical education providers and employers who watched as the students paraded through.
“They’re pretty helpful. There’s a lot of places and universities that I’ve never heard of before,” said Devonte Parker, a senior at Carencro High School. “They’ve given me a lot of brochures that can help me figure out what I’d like to do.”
Fellow Carencro High senior and aspiring lawyer Aliyah LeBlanc agreed.
“People don’t know about all of these colleges, so I think it’d help out a lot to come here and see what these places have to offer,” she said.
“We bring in students from all the private and public schools and give them the opportunity to talk directly with post-secondary institutions,” said Beverly Breaux, director of student services at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
UL-Lafayette fielded 13 booths this year, each from a different college office.
“We really want students from all the area high schools to have a chance to see not only the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, but all the different colleges in the state,” said Laine Blazevich, enrollment counselor at UL-Lafayette.
Universities with booths included University of Southern Mississippi, Nicholls State University, LSU and University of Alabama.
“It’s important for students to know the different options that they have after graduation, not only UL-Lafayette but all the other colleges in the area,” Blazevich said.
Breaux said the students attending the fair have filled out career plans and have had career counseling.
“They’re at the final stages in deciding what they’re going to do for post-secondary education,” she said. “You can’t just go out there and not have some kind of training for the workforce.”
The Lafayette Parish School System, in partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, hosted the College and Career Day.
The Lafayette Parish Fire Department set up a booth, which included “Randy,” a CPR dummy donning a firefighter’s hat.
The career fair “gets us out here with the public and shows that the fire department can be a career choice,” Training Officer Steven Langlinais said. “This is the best way to get in touch with the population, is to get out there and talk to people.”