Many students in our community often times do not have the resources available to gain exposure from professional role models essential for developing career interests. Through our Stay in School program, we aim to help bridge that gap by coordinating Career Speakers to visit with small groups of Waukegan students. Career Speakers are successful local professionals who demonstrate the value of staying in school and illustrate the direct connection between academics and future success.
We focus our Career Speaker efforts on two specific student groups at Abbott Middle School in Waukegan; Young Ladies of Distinction and Young Men of Vision. These two organizations share the goal of closing the achievement gap by working to increase the amount of students who graduate and progress to their next level of education. This past school year, several volunteer speakers came to visit with these two student groups. Read on to learn more about each Career Speaker.
Young Ladies of Distinction
Training Manager VCI Academy at VW Credit
Carlotta Roman went above and beyond as a Career Speaker. During her visit, she connected with the young ladies (pictured above) and helped them find what inspires them.
Chairperson and Second Vice-President & Actuary of Trustmark Companies
Karin Lowery shared her experience working at Trustmark Companies.
Dr. Sherry Pray
Chiropractor at Lake Forest Family Chiro PC
Dr. Sherry Pray shared her experience as a chiropractor. A life size model of the human spine was used so that Dr. Pray could demonstrate her profession in front of the girls.
Engineering Plant Manager at Procter & Gamble
Cinthya Barrera discussed her experience working at Procter & Gamble as well as her career journey.
Kimberly Taylor Smith
Director of Employee and Community Engagement at AbbVie
Kimberly Taylor Smith spoke about her move to Georgia, and then to New York, all by herself.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Allstate
Susie Lees told her personal story of success in front of the group. The message she wanted the girls to take away from her story was on the importance of working hard, being respectful and not letting fear hold them back.
Senior Manager, Site Communications & Engagement at Pfizer, Inc.
Kenji Kuykendall spent part of her day with the girls to share her experience working as a senior manager at Pfizer, Inc.
Becton, Dickinson and Company
Adilene Dominguez shared her personal success story with the Young Ladies of Distinction and encouraged the girls to stay motivated and work hard.
Young Men of Vision
Deputy of Facilities and Support Services for the Waukegan School District
LeBaron Moten spoke to the students about the importance of active listening and how they can respond to information when they take time to process it.
Mayor of Waukegan
Mayor Cunningham met with the student members to talk about leadership. While he was there, he also shared details of the history of Waukegan, the qualities of great leaders and he reminded the students to stay committed to their goals.
Former President and CEO of Nortel, and former President and COO of Motorola
Mike shared his experience to the group about his big move from Macedonia to the United States and how he experienced adapting to a new environment. He also talked about his involvement with sports and how that shaped him as a leader.
President & CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center.
Scott Jones spoke to the student members about hard work, goal-setting and the importance of having a positive attitude.
President & CEO of Mayo Consulting Group, and Vice Chairman Emeritus of Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Bob Mayo shared the story of his career journey with the students.
Director of Programs and EEO Officer at Lake County Workforce Development
Demar Harris shared his personal success story to the group. He highlighted the importance to the development of a contingency plan in the working environment. Demar’s new mentee from the group is a young man named Jordan and he is an aspiring entrepreneur.