By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Where can a high school student play with a mixing board, get a message, indulge in free smoothies and cupcakes, and learn about exciting career paths they never thought possible? The answer is easy – at the 2nd Annual Junior-Senior Showcase held at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort on Wednesday, March 19.
Over 150 EBCI tribal members from area high schools including Cherokee, Swain, Murphy, Robbinsville, and Smoky Mountain attended Wednesday’s event and learned about a bevy of career paths at the casino. Various departments within the casino set up information booths centered around the theme of the day – Hollywood.
“There’s many different opportunities through the casino,” said CHS junior Dre’ Crowe who attended the event with over 100 of her Cherokee classmates. “There are so many different departments here; a lot more than I thought there were. So, it helped me see what all is offered here.”
Crowe’s classmate, Peri Wildcatt, a junior, shared her thoughts, “There are a lot more jobs in the casino that I thought there were. I thought it was just food and gambling, but it’s a lot more.”
Tara Reed is a career development specialist at Harrah’s Cherokee and helps facilitate the Cherokee Development Program which was largely responsible for Wednesday’s event. She said education was a key factor in the event and students were shown at each booth how various levels of education equate to jobs within the casino.
“We wanted to show them what we have here; therefore, when they graduate they can go on and get their degree and then come back and work for the casino itself,” said Reed. “It is just to showcase what we have because probably 80 percent of these kids have never been to the property or don’t know what happens on the floor because they aren’t 21. So, we wanted to open it up to show them what a great, fun, exciting atmosphere it is to work here.”
Debbie Lambert, CHS guidance counselor, commented, “This introduces them to all of the different areas of opportunity that are available here at the casino so they might see some department that sparks their interest and they can match their coursework to that area and their future plans to that area.”
She said students were eager to attend the event. “Our seniors that came last year talked it up to the juniors this year and told them this is a good, fun event.”
Ray Rose, TCGE Board of Advisors, was present for the event and said, “Anytime we can reach out to the youth in our community, it’s always an exciting opportunity. Our staff gets behind it as you can see today with the quality of the booths and the activities. It’s just a good, community opportunity to connect, and we look forward to the future for these kids and hope that some of them will choose to work for us because we truly do have long career opportunities here.”
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