Takoda Prep Students Learn from Career Professionals

woman talks to a man in customer service position
Students learn from professionals and practice their informational interviewing skills

Kyna Bate-Boyle

The students at Takoda Prep High School took part in two special events in March. These events showcased both their professionalism and their interest in career exploration. Jessica Rousseau, the Case Plus Coordinator at Takoda Prep, organized an informational interview session for her students to practice conducting professional informational interviews with career professionals from within the Native community. Some of the career professionals that attended were from the Indian Education Department, Minnesota Department of Health, Hennepin County Library, and one of our own, Amber White-Bear from Takoda.

The students were able to learn more about the real-life experiences and the journeys each of the career professionals took. It helped give students insight into what that particular career looks like and how each career professional took different steps to succeed and get to where they are today.

What followed was a JAG Career Conference at Minneapolis Community Technical College, in which students attended a morning session of informational interviews with over 60 career professionals and an afternoon break-out session, where students were able to pre-register to attend a more in-depth look into certain career fields of their interest. Students were able to learn more about the career professionals in a variety of various fields within a smaller setting,

Students exchanged business cards they created within their Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) class and were able to network with all of the career professionals they met within the Conference.

Takoda GED Student Publishes Personal Essay

Fartun, a student at Takoda GED, is now a published author!

Elizabeth Bennett

Fartun enrolled in the Takoda GED program last summer.  She had already earned her high school diploma, and she wanted to keep working towards her goal of becoming a social worker.  Before enrolling in college, she needed to increase her proficiency in academic English and raise her Accuplacer test scores.  Fartun had tried other adult education programs, but she preferred Takoda GED because of the individual attention she received from the staff and volunteers.  Fartun attended our program for an impressive 400+ hours until she began courses at Saint Paul College in January.

While working in our classroom, Fartun wrote a moving essay about her personal hero, her grandmother, Faiza.   Her teacher suggested that she submit it for publication in Journeys, the Minnesota Literacy Council’s anthology of writing by adult students.  Fartun’s essay was accepted, and she is now a published author!

Fartun will read her essay at a special event at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:00 PM.  All are welcome to attend by registering here. Note that museum admission is FREE on Tuesdays after 3 PM.  Exhibits include Minnesota’s Greatest Generation, Then Now Wow, and Grainland.  The special exhibit Somalis + Minnesota is open through June 9.


More information about Journeys, including how to purchase your own copy, is available at https://mnliteracy.org/journeys.