More than 350 students from a Bradford secondary school attended an options evening last week with special guest graduates on hand to explain the importance of setting a career path.
Year 8 and 9 pupils from Tong High School attended the explanatory event whereby they didn’t only have the opportunity to explore their current options but also talk to representatives from local universities, Tong Sixth Form and local and national employers.
With parents and guardians also present, the evening worked as an ideal opportunity for students and families to find out more about the different education pathways and career routes.
Guest speaker, Paul Mackie, inspired students and their families about choices he had made and his story from struggling student to Chairman at Rex Procter and Partners, President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce and the Chair of E3 Bradford.
Mr Mackie is also the Chair of the Tong School Trust and said he hoped to help inspire the next generation of graduates.
“I was delighted to be invited to speak to students and parents about the importance of the decisions they are making now and how they will influence future career paths,” he said.
“I hope that by telling my story I have in some small way inspired them to think positively about their options and to start taking steps now to ensuring that they achieve success in future.”
Meanwhile, members of Tong High School Alumni had sent messages of inspiration to current students which were displayed on the evening.
Sabhita Raju, humanitarian affairs advisor for the Spanish Chapter of ‘Medecins Sans Frontieres’ (Doctors without Borders) covering Kenya, Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, India and Eritrea, attended the school between 1986 to 1991
She wrote: “Never think that coming from a relatively small city or humble background should stop you from chasing the highest levels in life and believing you can achieve them. I have travelled the world and met a lot of people at all levels, including the highest.
“They are just people at the end of the day, some smart and some not so smart, and being a girl or boy from Tong and from Bradford makes you as good as any of them – and probably more grounded and in touch with reality.”
A host of local and national companies offered their advice throughout the evening, whilst a survey of the attending parents highlighted that 92.9 per cent of families said they felt their child had been supported through the options process.