BeyondCareersEducationSymposium1-640x360The process of deciding on a career, applying to various colleges and looking for ways to help pay for school can be a daunting process for students looking to start their college education. The fourth annual Beyond Careers Education Symposium and Luncheon is designed as open forum where students can ask questions, learn from their peers and make informed decisions about their future.

Leaders from education, government, business, and the community came together at the Houston Community College (HCC) Stafford Learning Hub to discuss the importance of enhancing post-secondary education with a group of roughly 50 students and adults. They offered their experience, advice and expertise to the interested crowd and also gave an overview of some of the expectations in the industries they are considering pursuing.

“Students need a well-rounded view of some things involved when they complete their high school education and continue on to post-secondary education,” Beyond Careers Founder and President Barbara Davis said. “This includes educational credits, tax preparation to complete FAFSA, workforce certificate programs and other types of degrees institutes of higher education, such as HCC offer.”

The interactive, informative two-hour event is the vision of Davis. She worked diligently on this concept for nine years before seeing it morph into reality. She wants to help students make the connection to the next step in their education. It’s a goal that many of the guest speakers share, including Dr. Madeline Burillo, HCC Southwest Interim President.

“Beyond Careers is an important partner to HCC in helping us achieve our mission of providing open access and affordability to those seeking a post-secondary credential,” Dr. Burillo said. “The process of applying for financial aid can be overwhelming to many, and Beyond Careers bridges the gap. It focuses on providing education and mentorship about career planning, the financial aid process, and it offer assistance in completing forms which helps remove another barrier from the process of pursuing college. It’s a natural collaboration for HCC. ”

Dr. Burillo had inspirational words of encouragement for the group to strive to do your best, never give up and always follow your dreams. Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, HCC Board of Trustees, District IV, followed her sentiment and drove home the importance of higher education.

The Beyond Careers Education Symposium focused on the individual, finding the right fit, setting goals and attaining them. No matter the education avenue, whether its community college, a four-year institution or trade school, there’s something for everyone.

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