December 20 2022

Achieve Twin Cities joins SPPS and PROCEED to co-host Thinking Career and College Early Fair in Saint Paul

Achieve career and college team members at Harding High School event

Achieve Twin Cities was proud to partner with Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and PROCEED (Progressive Center for Education and Economic Development) for the annual Thinking Career and College Early Fair, which connected students in grades 6-12 from throughout the Twin Cities with over 60 postsecondary and career representatives at Harding High School.   

SPPS Superintendent Joe Gothard and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter kicked off the fair with a warm and enthusiastic welcome, followed by an opening performance by a Hmong dance group. 

Students and families then mingled and enjoyed one-on-one conversations with dozens of college, university and other postsecondary admissions staff from Minnesota and throughout the U.S. about academic programs, scholarships, campus life and much more. They also met with local employers about great career opportunities and pathways for specific fields and employment.    

Each year historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have a very strong presence at the fair, with several HBCU school representatives participating and an alum panel of HBCU graduates sharing their personal experiences and advice for young people.

“Because HBCUs are specifically focused on supporting black students and students of color, their participation makes this event very powerful,” says Zoey Haines, our career and college readiness program strategy manager for SPPS schools. “Students are able to meet with several national HBCU reps right here in person, which wouldn’t be possible otherwise for students who can't travel to far away campuses."   

Zoey says the fair also helps demystify the college admissions process for many young people. “It can be intimidating for some students to visit a campus or even talk with a college rep. But at this event they can meet so many people so easily, and they can see that these are "real people" who are very invested in their future. Because they seem more approachable, students are more likely to take the next step to learn more.”

Finally, Zoey adds that the family focus of this event is very unique - and also very effective in helping students to start thinking about life after high school. “Students can bring their parents and even younger siblings and other family members with them," she says. "It really gets the whole family involved in planning and investing in their students’ future, and gets young people really excited about what their next steps might be.” 

Learn more about how Achieve supports students in discovering, exploring and planning for their college and career pathways. 

Check out these scenes from the Thinking Career and College Early Fair

Achieve career and college readiness team members
HBCU panel at college and career fair
SPPS Superintendent Joe Gothard with college reps at career fair
City of Saint Paul reps talk with students about career options
Career represents talk with students at career fair
Genysis Works rep talks with students at career fair
Saint Paul Public Schools representative at career fair