YERMO • Hundreds of students at Silver Valley High School asked questions and talked to professionals in careers ranging from scientists at the Goldstone Deep Space Complex to law enforcement officers at the high school's annual career day on Thursday.

Over 20 local professionals talked to students about the favorite parts of their jobs, what they do day-to-day and how they got to where they are professionally as part of the high school's effort to expose students to a variety of careers, according to Lanette Everly, career day coordinator and school counselor.

"Sometimes they just don't know what all is out there," said Everly.

"It just kind of gives them food for thought," she said.

While presenters from Bridges Academy of Beauty highlighted the range of beauty careers — from hair stylists to movie set make-up artists — they also talked about how the job can be a short- or long-term gig.

Julie Garcia, an instructor at the beauty school, said she's enjoyed her job doing hair, nails and make-up for the past 22 years.
"I don't have to work nine-to-five," Garcia noted as one of the perks.

On the other hand, Nicole Olivares, a beauty school student, is specializing in manicures but is also going to school to receive a degree to become a special education instructor.

Ninth-grader Tayler Nickell said that while she wants to be a doctor someday, she wouldn't mind having a side job as a beautician for extra money.

"It's fun and I can help friends out," Nickell said.

Nickell and the class of about 25 students — mostly girls, but with a few boys  — listened as Garcia explained that there is often more to a job than meets the eye. Beauticians, for instance, require a background in topics like chemistry and  business as well as an eye for style.

"You want to know how to handle your money," Garcia explained.

Almeda Hall, a prevention officer from the Fort Irwin Fire Department, gave students a taste of the harder parts of her job, including past experiences saving people from burning houses and rescuing car crash victims

"You have to have a strong stomach, OK? Because you're going to see some ugly things," Hall told students.

She also emphasized the that learning continues on-the-job and doesn't stop after high school, referring to professional rescue techniques as well as technology, for her job.

"You have to continue your education because things change," she said.

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(760) 256-4122 or elee@desertdispatch.com