Helping Students to Find Their Niche

Helping Students to Find Their Niche
Posted on 04/07/2023
                      Helping Students to Find Their Niche 
Destiny Davis had no idea what career to pursue after she graduated from Bloomfield High in 2014.

It wasn’t until college, as she was earning a Masters’ degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, that she identified her passion to work with and mentor young people. This, Davis thought, was her destiny.

Destiny Davis

After an almost five-year stint as director of youth programs and grant manager at Leadership Greater Hartford, Davis was hired last July to serve as Bloomfield Public Schools’ first School-to-Career Specialist. 

Her role is to implement, develop and oversee college-and career-readiness programs for students in grades 7 through 12 - and help them to identify a career to pursue.

“We didn’t have these types of services when I was in high school,” said Davis, who grew up in a spiritual household, the youngest of six children. Both parents were ministers. “I remember what is was like to be one in a billion in the world – and not have any idea where I fit in.”

She has already established a strong rapport with students, many of whom are curious to know exactly what year she graduated from BHS, Davis says laughing. 

“The students here are amazing,” she said. “The career-coaching part is what really captivated me when I learned about the job opening. I offer guidance, but it’s more of a partnership between me and whomever I’m working with. Together, we come up with a goal, but it’s them doing the work.’’

Asking students the right questions are an essential element of the job, Davis said. Her big three are:

What brings you joy?
When you get up in the morning, what lights your world?
What do you think the world needs from you - what is the world missing that you can provide?

“The goal is not just get you into something to get a paycheck,” she said. “The goal is to get you into something that will hopefully fill your cup on a regular basis.”

So far, Davis has facilitated programs that have exposed students to careers in the healthcare industry, real estate, robotics, mechanical engineering and technology. Another important part of the job is securing companies to partner with the district on such things as job shadows and field trips, internships, mentorships, guest speakers and panel discussions about careers.

Local companies, such as Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Keller Williams, Trinity Healthcare of New England and ABB, are already on board.

 “Ms. Davis’ work, energy and presence has strengthened the college-and-career readiness efforts of the district,” said Bloomfield Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Thompson, Jr. “She is creating a culture here in which students are thinking more intently about identifying careers that appeal to them.’’

As part of a capstone project, seniors this week participated in a career-cluster showcase in the BHS cafeteria. All presented an occupation that is of interest to them and outlined the pathway to get there. This included researching the education and credentials needed for the occupation, the potential salaries and interviewing someone currently in that profession. Middle school students were invited to attend.

Davis will, eventually, require all students to develop an individual success plan in which they identify an occupation of interest and set goals about what they need to do in school to better prepare themselves for that occupation.

“I want them to know how to plan and have the tools to be able to adapt if those plans change,” she said. “Students come to me all the time and say I don’t have any idea what I want to do or where I want to go. Or, they are set on something and haven’t considered if they can do well in another area. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a student find their niche.’’

Seventh-grade girls recently participated in a “Dream it, Be it” program – a three-day workshop to help them identify careers of interest.

BHS Principal Jesse White said Davis is a positive role model to students because she shares the Bloomfield experience.

“She is the perfect example of what we expect from Bloomfield High School alums,” White said. “She is a critical thinker, a problem-solver and effective communicator. In her brief time here, Ms. Davis has fostered relationships with community partners that have resulted in exposure to jobs and careers where minorities are often underrepresented. We are fortunate to have her as part of our team.”
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2023 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.