Inspired kids with CareerSpark

It starts with a spark.

When you ask someone who loves their job what inspired them to get started in their career it was often a teacher or other adult who planted the seed at a young age. 

Watching a child be inspired to explore different career paths they’ve never considered before is the reason we love volunteering at the annual CareerSpark Expo hosted by the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Junior Achievement of Central Illinois.

This week Manda & Michelle volunteered for the 6th Annual CareerSpark Expo at the Peoria Civic Center where more than 4,000 (yes 4,000) 8th Graders were exposed to career paths in fields like robotics, teaching, arts, business, healthcare, agriculture and the trades over 2 days.  

If you can see it, you can be it.

Events like this expose kids to new experiences and expand their ability to envision a path for themselves. With an 8th grader myself, I can say it comes at just the right time when we are thinking ahead to high school and what sparks his interests.

CareerSpark is a chance for teens to ask questions and dream about a career they may have never considered otherwise. With such a variety of career paths represented, there was something for everyone this year. New experiences spark your brain in a way nothing else can. The more we expose children to different ideas the more inspired they will be as adults. 

The interactive exhibits allowed for hands on learning and memorable experiences that will inspire teens who are typically hard to impress. When I asked what my son Jayden thought of the event he said he never could have imagined what it was like to help a cow give birth, but now he can! 

Michelle Bohm at Peoria CareerSpark 2022
"What a great experience! I got to see kid's eyes light up when they climbed in a fire truck or learned how to put someone on a ventilator. I love seeing that spark happen in real time! #Bestdayever." -Michelle Bohm
Manda Brown at CareerSpark2022

The event itself was beautifully organized to make sure that the kids, businesses and volunteers had a great experience. We know first hand how much work and planning goes into pulling something like this off. We are grateful that the EDC and Jr. Achievement are committed to inspiring the young people in our community through events like CareerSpark.

To learn more or get involved as an exhibitor or volunteer next year visit the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council.