DHS students inspired, encouraged

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie

About 25 career booths were set up at Donaldsonville High School on April 8 for its annual career fair.

Among those booths, students found lots of words they could relate to from WAFB reporter, Damon Cutno.

Cutno, a Donaldsonville native and Ascension Catholic High School graduate told students how he didn't have much ambition upon leaving high school. He began college late and took six years to finish.

"I had a tattoo on my face and I didn't value myself," Cutno said. "I'm not the guy who graduated in four years. Even if you don't know what you want to do, you can still do anything - I never imagined this is what I would do with my life."

Among those inspired by Cutno's testimony was 18-year-old Andrew Dickerson, a senior who has aspirations in various fields of study. He is considering majoring in English then possibly going into law or journalism.

"I would like to be a creative writer," Dickerson said. "I talked to [Cutno] and he told me some interesting things about how he started in chemistry and went into journalism. He also told me about starting low and working your way up through internships and such things."

After speaking Cutno, Dickerson said he would like to attend the New York School of Technology while holding a possible internship or position at nearby CNN studios.

Testimonies like Cutno's leaving impressions on students is what career counselor and graduation coach, Michael Hilton said he had hoped would happen.

"It's one of the greatest things that we can do for our students," Hilton said. "We are in a pretty isolated community, so giving our students the chance to see things from different places and create that scene of curiosity in their heads - what's possible for them is key to me. If we can get them to look past their horizons, maybe we can get them to move past their horizons as well."

Other booths includedBright Futures,Pretty With a Purpose Organization, St Elizabeth Physician Dr. Lisa Lee, Rosemond Phlebotomy School, Ascension Parish Schools, River Parishes Community College, Business First Bank, Simply Bougee, Body by Brad, Brent Mitchell Foundation, Smoothie King, ALL Crane Rental of LA, Baton Rouge Community College, Wilson Warehouse, Southern University and A&M College, Turner Industries, Cajun Contractor, Performance Contractor, Aveda Institute, D’jays Institute of Cosmetology & Aestheology, United States Army and the Donaldsonville Fire Department.

Community leaders represented were Ascension Parish School Board member Robyn Penn Delaney, Donaldsonville CouncilmanLauthaught Delaney, Sr., Richard Brown, Mark Peters, Roy Quezaire, Linda Stephens, Veronica Hillard, Sonya Mead and MayorLeroy Sullivan.

"It's great for the school to put on this career fair and give the students an opportunity to look at other options," Sullivan said. "We know that everybody isn't going to go to college - some may go directly into the workforce - there are so many options. This fair might also encourage some of the students to go to college or trade school."

Lowery students also attended the fair.