Summit Charter Intermediate Academy’s (SCIA) cafeteria was alive with the hustle and bustle of eighth graders eager to question nearly 20 different career professionals present to help them gather resources for their upcoming community projects.

I feel that today was very successful,” said International Baccalaureate (IB)Coordinator Jenifer Sanders. “We had a lot of community support. Our students acquired a lot of knowledge they can use to be successful in their community projects. As an IB school, students' culminating activity in eighth grade is to complete a 15 hour project. They choose the topic they’re interested in and reach out to their community to get resources, which is part of what we did today. From There they create something that they can give back as a way to help the community.”

On Thursday afternoon the SCIA students entered the cafeteria and were immediately drawn to the Walmart and Valley Strong Credit Union booths which had t-shirts and lanyards to take. Other popular booths included Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Blueprint Gym. Porterville Fire Department, Apple Technology, Townsend Architectural Design and Full Circle Farming were also in attendance, ready to answer any questions thrown their way.

I would like to publicly thank all of you for your time and for your work,”said Sanders. “Thank you so much. I know you greatly made a difference in these kids' lives just from the information you shared with them.”

Each student came prepared with a list of four questions to ask the professionals including advice for college and future careers and how each professional connects to their communities.

Burton School District Superintendent Sergio Mendoza was present to advise some of his students on how to prepare themselves for their community projects and educate them on how to be ready for their own future careers. 

I think what [Meet the Pros Day] does is give students the opportunity to at least listen and hear from individuals that they may have an idea of what they do but they really don’t,” said Mendoza. “I think the great part is they're trying to create a project to give back by asking the advice of another adult that can help them.”

The students, who began researching and putting their community projects together on October 1, will host a project showcase at the end of February at SCIA to show off their finished community projects.

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