NBEF’s College Readiness & Career Development Training Team facilitated “Virtual Networking” workshops for a combined total of 127 students in the New Brunswick School District, including P-TECH School freshmen and sophomores (79) on May 6th and New Brunswick High School juniors and seniors (48) during its Career Fair on June 4th.
A key focus of the workshop was (1) the importance of networking and students were apprised of various approaches; and (2) exploring the difference between in-person and virtual networking, and strategies and resources to maintain a network virtually.
The training curriculum used for the project was derived from a partnership that NBEF has forged with The Opportunity Network (“OppNet”), a nonprofit based in New York City that works with over 50 organizations across the country with a capacity-building approach to help accelerate postsecondary and workforce readiness for youth.
These past six months (in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic) NBEF administered virtual platforms of workshops, conference style events, panel discussions, and symposiums attended by over 500 New Brunswick youth and young adults, ranging from ages 14-28 years of age. Through its College & Young Professional Network component, NBEF is pleased to host/administer an array of programs, resources and services that entails college readiness and career development training with topics such as Academic Transition: Learning Styles & Study Skills; Time Management; First Year College Milestones & Off-to-College Checklist; Values and Career Exploration; Diversity on Campus; Intro to Networking/Contact Management; Elevator Pitch and Mock Interviewing; Identify & Inclusion in the Workplace, etc.
The NBEF Training Team is led by JESSICA VARELA, MBA, who is a New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School alumnus, former NBEF scholarship recipient, and former member of NBEF’s Board of Directors.
She is currently a Ph.D. student in the field of Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition at Rutgers University; and earned her Bachelor’s from Rutgers University in Latin American Studies, and Masters of Business Administration from Walden University.
Jessica is passionate about impacting the lives of New Brunswick youth and has served as the Project Coordinator of the Nurture thru Nature Program, which introduces New Brunswick Public School students (4th through 12th grade) to the wonders of nature and natural science by both outdoor and classroom leaning opportunities.