Lakeview Ninth Graders to Cultivate Soft Skills

May 30th, 6th and 7th period

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Lakeview Ninth Graders to Cultivate Soft Skills

Isabella Adkins, reporter

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Soft skills are the attributes that enable us to interact with people effectively. The ability to utilize such skills is incredibly important in the workplace and is something that all employers are looking for when they hire someone, regardless of the job description.

According to Brittney Abbott, the ninth grade guidance counselor here at Lakeview, “I hear a lot from teachers, parents, employers and college professors that our kids are lacking soft skills. I felt like I was hearing it from enough directions that it needed to be addressed and we should be teaching it in schools.”

Abbott created the Soft Skills Workshop three school years ago when she noticed a need to educate students on soft skills, as well as hard skills.

“We do a really good job at Lakeview of making sure you’re academically prepared, but are we giving you that other piece? I wasn’t sure that we were so that’s why I created the soft skills workshop.”

The May 30th event is confirmed for nine different stations. On that date, 9th graders will meet in the new gym during 6th and 7th period to learn new soft skills at the various stations Every station will present students with a different aspect of soft skills. Students will be split up into groups of up to fifteen people and rotate every nine to ten minutes. Many of the stations will be on topics covered in last year’s Soft Skills Workshop. The topics of the stations are outlined below, each of which is denoted in bold font.

Lakeview High School’s resource officer, Brandon Rice will be discussing the importance of making good choices. There will be a station devoted to informing students of the impact of drugs and alcohol on their ability to get hired for jobs, which will be led by a representative of Meridian Healthcare.

TCTC career development coordinator Cara DeToro will teach interviewing skills at the event. Maureen Paczak, Lakeview High School’s nurse, will be showing students how to dress for success. A U.S. Army Sergeant will inform students how their body language can help them make a good first impression.

Two of the stations will be presented by eleventh grade college credit plus students. Laura Garvin will talk about the effect social media can have on employers’ hiring decisions. Austin Vogt will discuss the topic of teamwork.

There will be up to three new stations this year. One of the new stations confirmed is designed to let students know how they can manage stress and anxiety. Our school’s social worker, Dante Yanno, will be the leader of the station.  A representative of Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates will be in to lead another confirmed station that will focus on setting goals. 

There is also the possibility of a tenth station that would be presented by Jolene Cadence, the Chief Diversion Officer of the nearest Juvenile Courts. This station would focus on the implications of sexting as well as cyberbullying.

Though the workshop is currently only being administered to ninth graders, soft skills are just as relevant at every age. It doesn’t matter if it’s a part time job during high school or a career choice, soft skills help increase one’s ability to find and keep a job. This is why it’s important that not only freshman develop these skills, but that they continue to do so throughout the rest of high school and beyond.

As Abbott said “no matter what you do in life, these apply to every college major and every job because employers want you to be able to do A, B, and C. ”

Given this, Abbott has high hopes for the workshop, saying “I would like to see this expand into something that we hit on each year.”

In the future, students may begin to hear the discussion of soft skills even beyond the Soft Skills Workshop.

“We have been talking about ways to address topics like this and better prepare our students for that and work things into the school on a regular basis. So that’s maybe something that comes down the road as well” says Abbott.