Farmington Schools career fair aims to close achievement gap

The Farmington Public Schools’ Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) hosted career fairs on May 18 designed to help close the achievement gap for minority students.

David Turner Harrison High School
David Turner (right) the Vice President of Human Resources at Eastern Michigan University speaks to students at Harrison High. Turner is also president of the Farmington Public Schools Board of Education. (Farmington Public Schools)

Held at Farmington, Harrison, and North Farmington high schools, the events were coordinated by MSAN Scholars Anyah Lewis (Farmington), Ebony Matthews (Harrison), and Jamie Tucker (North). They received assistance from North English teacher Kristina Avant, Harrison social studies teacher Jeremy Robinson, Valada Sargent, Restorative Justice Interventionist at Farmington High, and Naomi Khalil, Director of Instructional Equity.

“We had more than 100 students participate in the FHS fair,” Sargent said. “It was a great opportunity for them to personally connect and network with professionals from a variety of fields and educational paths. When we were intentional about including professionals of color, everybody wins.”

Willie Council Farmington High School
Students at FHS listen to Willie Council a representative of Office of Public Affairs, Community Outreach Program for the Detroit FBI Division. (Farmington Public Schools)

Several hundred students heard from metro Detroit career professionals, who spoke with six to eight groups of students in a round robin fashion. Students learned about each speaker’s career path and had a chance to ask prepared questions about career preparation, what inspired each speaker to choose his or her career, and what the speaker enjoyed most about his or her profession.

Guest speakers included:

Farmington High School

  • Brandon Brice – Executive, Boy Scouts of America
  • Jeff Dawkins – Chief Operating Officer (COO), Detroit Medical Center (Retired)
  • Willie Council – Office of Public Affairs, Community Outreach Program, Detroit FBI Division
  • Mario Dewberry – Urban Leadership Specialist
  • Justin Dunn – Digital Brand Strategist
  • Shanacee Shreve – Digital Brand Strategist
  • Bianca Eugene – Employment Training Specialist
  • Leila Hardeman – Executive Assistant & Business Owner
  • Terrence Haugabook – Assistant US Attorney
  • Marsha Hutchinson – Sales Manager
  • Dr. Kimberly Jenkins – Anesthesiologist, Assistant Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, University of Toledo
  • Brandy Merritt – Director of Business Unit Strategy Implementation, Consumers Energy
  • Dr. Tammon Nash – Medical Doctor
  • Dr. Tara Walker – Acute Care Nurse, Ph.D.
  • Christian Little – Wayne State University (WSU) College of Nursing

Harrison High School

  • Cornelius Harris – Music Manager/Agent, Underground Resistance
  • Krystal Armstrong – Chief Operating Officer, Harbor Oaks Hospital
  • David Turner – Vice President of Human Resources
  • Joseph R Petit-Homme, Jr. – Design Engineer
  • Cedric G. Fails – Tax Accountant
  • Alan Williams – Senior Engineering Manager
  • Derrick Padgett – Social Worker
  • Anetra Gaines – News Executive Producer
  • Furney Brown – Senior Manager
  • Nicole Rembert – Senior IT Manager
  • Jeff Dawkins – COO Detroit Medical Center (Retired)

North Farmington High School

  • Crystal Martin – Nephrologist/Physician Advisor
  • Cora Small – Business Owner – Qualicare Home Care
  • Landon Tucker – Global Business Development Manager
  • Donna Posey – Attorney
  • Regina Jamerson – Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Regional Sales Manager
  • Rochelle Prestage – Human Resources/Verizon
  • Brandon Grant – Administrative Fellow at Penn Medicine
  • Kayla Wimbush – Public Relations Coordinator
  • Lynita Taylor – Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager at Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch’s School of Business
  • Jeanette Driver – Business Development and Community Relations Manager, Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union
  • Andre Green – STEM/IT Manager
  • Naomi Oglesby – Employment and Labor Lawyer
  • Tanji Grant – Realtor