PHS career day presents many paths for Presidio students

PRESIDIO — Presidio High School career day introduced students to 29 education and career paths, including opportunities in healthcare, higher education, law enforcement, marketing and advertising, art, computer science, teaching, law, engineering and television.

School counselor John Ferguson organized the Thursday, November 14 event, saying the career day’s success was “a tribute to the people who came in to present to our students, as well as the students taking an interest in what was available to them.”

Ferguson said his years of experience in Presidio helped him tap former PHS students, businesspeople and local industries like border patrol and customs to share their career experiences.

For those non-locals who couldn’t make the trip to Presidio for the day, Ferguson arranged for professionals to video conference into classrooms to share about career opportunities that aren’t available in Presidio. In one classroom, Isaac Neri shared stories about television production from the Univision office in San Antonio.

Presidio Independent School District Police Chief and Presidio County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Joel Nuñez pulled double duty in his session, helping students understand his two law enforcement duties.

In another wing of campus, Doctors Nelly Avila and Jeremy Velasquez were getting down to brass tacks with students interested in pursuing a career in dentistry. Dr. Avila urged students to really consider what they like and dislike. For example, don’t wait until you’re in dental school to discover a fear of blood!

Marc Couch of the Department of Public Safety told students that integrity was the most important thing to bring to a career. His career had allowed him to have unique experiences, like picking up debris from the Challenger shuttle explosion. He told students that his job in law enforcement helped him grow skills in math and science and maintain his physical and mental fitness.

On the topic of mental health, Marlett Garcia, a mental health therapist, connected with students about hard times they’ve faced in their lives and how taking care of mental health is important. “When you seek a therapist it doesn’t have to be about something major. It can be ‘they broke my heart and I can’t deal with it anymore.’”

Garcia said she found the career by attending Sul Ross State University in Alpine, and has enjoyed helping people of all ages overcome obstacles.

“Really, one of the joys of being an educator in an isolated place like Presidio, is being able to help the students to overcome obstacles or have faith in themselves to go out in the world and do these things,” Ferguson said.

Dr. Velasquez finished the dentistry presentation that afternoon with a message that applies to all students looking into new career opportunities: “Anything you do, make sure you enjoy it.”