Nearly 2,000 educators and their students logged on for the UFT’s Future in Focus college and career fair on Oct. 21 and 22 to explore the opportunities available to students after high school.
The event, held online for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, featured representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities, including the City University of New York and the State University of New York.
The Future in Focus fair also included workshops on financial aid and completing college applications, plus an information session about the benefits of union jobs. Retired teacher James Rodriguez, who helped coordinate the participants for the event, said the fair helps “counselors and teachers network with college-access professionals.” He said building that relationship is “invaluable as school-based professionals continue to work with students and their parents throughout the school year.”
Jessica Madera, who teaches at the HS for Teaching and the Professions in the Bronx, said participation in the college fair is now a school tradition. “It’s part of what we do every year in our school because of the number of colleges that participate,” she said.
Madera found inspiration for her classroom from union professionals who spoke. “That’s something I carry into the classroom — building a lesson on unionized trades and careers,” she said. Madera feels it’s important for students to know about union work — and know “that they have that option.” She said she uses Future in Focus materials on the subject to craft that lesson.