In January 2010 HPAC and Fordham University launched the career-oriented activities that are the essence of the Career Education Mentoring Program (CEMP). The program works with the children and parents of Hunts Point to demonstrate that there are a wealth of education and career options available. It helps students realize what type of career they may be interested and the steps – starting with high school – that will take them there.
“The concept of CEMP started as a reflection that students needed to understand their high school choices earlier,” says Griselle Baret, the director of educational programs at HPAC. ” If you don’t know about something that’s out there you aren’t going to ask about it.”
The CEMP Program includes 28 middle school students from Hunts Point schools that participate in day-long workshops to explore career options, high school opportunities, and skill-building lessons to help them achieve in school and at work.
A highlight of the program is two full-day trips to Fordham University, which additionally exposes students to the collegiate atmposphere. During the second HPAC-CEMP Institute day students in grades 6-8, attended workshops by professionals in varying fields, including technology and the fashion industry. They also attended interpersonal skill and stress coping workshops.
HPAC and CEMP create an environment in which the children of Hunts Point can concentrate on their futures beyond academic pursuits.
“You don’t just stop at high school —you go to college and you get into careers,” says Baret.