Students Learn About Professional Vocations

Access Students Learn About Professional Vocations at Career-a-Palooza

Saint Louis, MO. May 9, 2013 Recently, students from six NativityMiguel schools travelled to Notre Dame High School for Career-A-Palooza.

Sponsored by Access Academies, Career-A-Palooza gave students the unique opportunity to engage with area professionals and learn about different careers and vocations.

“For us, it is about giving students exposure to career options while helping them set goals and plan for their futures,” said Blake Youde, Executive Director of Access Academies.

Working in small groups, students heard firsthand the real-world experiences of some of the area’s leading experts. An important lesson not taught through a textbook.

John Jones, an eighth grader from Most Holy Trinity who has been accepted to St. Mary’s High School, enjoyed meeting with Roberto Garcia, Associate Brand Manager at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“I plan to do something with game design or marketing, and wanted to know how he (Garcia) got to where he is at today,” Jones said.

Garcia, Jones learned, graduated from Notre Dame with two degrees before earning his MBA. He then worked for a variety of organizations specializing in brand management and marketing before joining AB-InBev.

The day concluded with two simultaneous panel discussions broken down by gender to facilitate networking contacts and mentoring relationships. Panel members discussed their careers, from their first job to present positions, and shared advice, such as what they majored in while attending college. Some of the professionals also discussed what made them decide to follow different career paths over time, while others talked about what they liked and did not like about their career paths.

For more information regarding this release, please contact Julie Linder, Public Relations for Access Academies, by calling (573) 268-0639.


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Access Academies would like to thank the following professionals for presenting at Career-A-Palooza:

Name Profession Place of Employment
Ariel Jenkins Risk Control Manager Safety National
Danielle Aziz Videographer Edward Jones
Dr. Miguel Paniagua Physician St. Louis University
Earlmika Jones IT Professional Safety National
Irving Moorehead Firefighter St. Louis Fire Department
Joe Jedlicka Lawyer/Entrepreneur/Consultant Independent Consultant
Neil Kalsi Medical Student St. Louis University
Patrick Ercole Statistician/Professor Washington University
Paul Minorini Lawyer/Executive Director Boys Hope Girls Hope
Roberto Garcia Associate Brand Manager Anheuser Busch InBev
Sarah Beams Pastoral Care Worker
Sterling Brown Director of Diversity St. Louis University High School
Tyrone Swinton Police Officer St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Vicki Gonzalez Business Executive/Engineer Nidus /Monsanto


Pictured: Roberto Garcia.jpg- Roberto Garcia meets with students during a session on marketing

Pictured: Joe Jedlicka.jpg- Joe Jedlicka talks about career path to becoming a lawyer


About: Established in 2005, Access Academies (Academies Creating Challenging Education for St. Louis Students) is a not-for-profit corporation established to ensure that socially-and/or economically-disadvantaged students in the St. Louis area have Access to top-quality, values-based education, regardless of race, ethnicity or religious affiliation.

Access Academies makes a seven-year commitment to each student by employing the St. Louis NativityMiguel model of education and currently serves 153 middle school students at Most Holy Trinity School, St. Cecilia School, and St. Louis the King School, and provides comprehensive graduate support to more than 300 high school students who have graduated from the St. Louis NativityMiguel program at Access Academies.Â