Columbia Middle School Students Get Glimpse of Career Opportunities

Columbia Middle School PTO Career Day committee: Danielle Doucette, Heather Tan, Lynn Richardson, Camille Ciolino, Erin Tripp with PTO president Angela Penna. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Columbia Middle School PTO volunteers checked in the business professions for the bi-annual Career Day Enrichment Program. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Heather O'Rourke, ABC7NY Traffic Reporter Credits: Bobbie Peer
Tim Quigley from the Daily Show - Session on lights, camera, action
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Anthony DeFranco - American Ninja Warrior Credits: Bobbie Peer
Rita's Ice Credits: Bobbie Peer
Bridget Neigel - Owner Rita's Ice played trivia games for coupon give aways. Credits: Bobbie Peer
J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Simulated medical procedure. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Credits: Bobbie Peer
Columbia PTO Career Day Committee Credits: Bobbie Peer
Professionals were treated to a luncheon prior to their three scheduled workshops. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad volunteers enjoy luncheon prior to their workshops. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Local businesses enjoyed luncheon prior to working with students during three scheduled workshop sessions. Credits: Bobbie Peer

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - What do you want to be when you grow up? Columbia Middle School students had the opportunity to interact with local professionals during the recent bi-annual Career Day enrichment program presented by the Columbia Middle School PTO.  

The students attended three different sessions out of the 40 workshops set up throughout the school. They gained insight into what a day in a life of professionals may be like, what was their educational background, what training is involved, and what they find rewarding about their jobs. The students were able ask questions, participate in hands-on activities and start thinking about their futures.

How does ABC7NY Traffic Reporter Heather O'Rourke receive her information to report each morning, how does she know where to point on the "Green Screen" and what time does she have to get up every morning to be on the air by 5 a.m.? O'Rourke walked through her career path and how she ended up as a broadcaster for a major network.

Sign Up for E-News

Students learned agility from fitness trainer Matt Carbone of Gabriele Fitness and Performance; Self Defense tactics from Darren DeMarco of White Tiger Dojo; and fencing. There were also yoga, sign language and theater workshops. Medical professionals walked through simulated procedures and  Murray Hill Vets showed X-rays of different injuries they encounter. Graphic artists and computer tech engineers shared their expertise. Bridget Neigel, owner a Rita's Ice, was a crowd pleaser handing out a tasting of their ice leaving you with their catchy jingle stuck in your head.  

Chris Pierce from the Jets satisfied the sports enthusiast's inquiries, while Anthony DeFranco sparked their inner athlete talking about his experience training for the American Ninja competition. Tim Quigley of the Daily Show gave the students a glimpse behind the scenes of TV production.

The Union County Bomb Squad, Berkeley Heights Police, Fire and Rescue Squad each were stationed outside with full apparatus on display. 

These middle school students were left with optimism and grand expectations for their future.

The professionals were treated to a luncheon hosted by the PTO, giving them the opportunity to mingle with the other professionals prior to leading their workshops.

PTO programs such as this enrichment program are made possible by the work of PTO parent volunteers.  Student based educational programs, teacher grants and "Gifts to the School" are funded through the generosity of our member families, said Columbia Middle School president Angela Penna.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

June 23, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate compared to other counties in our state, and we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Every ...

Seth Meyers Attends Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction

Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, was recently a special guest at Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction where a record-breaking $1.35 million was raised. 

SMGF’s Annual Gala & Auction raises critical funds to ensure the Foundation can continue to offer access to high-quality ...

What Is HIIT and Why All The Buzz?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Many people, especially those with busy schedules, love HITT because they can get maximum benefits in a short period of time! According to Shape Magazine, “Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to ...

Register Today for Summer Youth Courses Offered at Union County College

CRANFORD – This summer the Office of Continuing Education at Union County College is expanding its course offerings for youth ages 11-18. Classes are taught by NJ-certified teachers and subject matter experts that specialize in delivering high-quality youth programs. Classes begin the week of June 25 and run through August 23.

Classes offered include Introduction to Musical Theater, ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.


Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, June 23, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Sun, June 24, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Sun, June 24, 10:00 AM

eMedical Urgent Care, Berkeley Heights

eMedical Urgent Care to Hold Free Teddy Care ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness


Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour



Mon, June 25, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM


Kids' Critter Camp


What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...