SC Department of Commerce and Midlands Education and Business Alliance hosted students from Midlands Middle College and Richland One Middle College for a student symposium, Living, Learning and Leading, at Midlands Technical College on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
Living, Learning and Living was a student led, day-long event in which students were able to connect with leaders from industries and communities in the Midlands. Students learned about workforce development trends of the future, took part in hands on exploration activities, programs and resources that align their current school curriculum with work skills and knowledge needed today and tomorrow. These direct connections will assist students as they prepare to make important decisions in planning for college, career and citizenship.
The student led symposium started off strong with a keynote presentation from motivational speaker and job readiness coach, Kelly Simmons III. Mr. Simmons talked with students about taking charge of their future and motivating them to do great things with their talents. Following the keynote presentation, Lexington County Council Chair, Ms. Debbie Summers, spoke to the two students about leadership and service opportunities as citizens in their community, emphasizing the many ways they can each contribute and make a difference.
During Living, Leading and Learning, students took part in breakout sessions geared towards future workforce trends and explored “what’s next?” for their generation as they enter the workforce such as, what problems will they be solving? researching in medicine? exploring in space? inventing new technologies, etc. Breakout sessions were based on many areas of discipline and included expert presentations and hands on activities from participating partners: Midlands Technical College Theater presenting on careers and happenings in performing arts, FGP International presented “Employer Expectations,” associates from SPAWAR presented current and future initiatives on behalf of “SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic,” SC National Guard presented military careers and had students perform hands-on combat medic procedures, Palmetto Health presented “Stop the Bleed” which included EMT and shock management control activities, Midlands AHEC presented “Healthcare in the Future,” TPM of Columbia presented “What Does the Future Hold?” in relation to STEM Careers and Kelly Simmons III led a breakout session on “Leadership 101.” Following breakout sessions, select students from each breakout session presented “what’s next?” based on what they had learned, and how their knowledge and work will impact the future.
The student symposium closed with a presentation from Tom Ledbetter, Associate VP, Center for Entrepreneurial Success at Midlands Technical College, “The Cost of My Living.” This in-depth presentation allowed students to see how much it will cost for them to live as a young adult to include monthly living expenses, taxes, consumer debt and student loans, and how much money they will need to earn to support those monthly expenses. This was an awesome opportunity for students to see how much they learn impacts the amount of money they will earn, and how the money they earn will support how well they live – Living, Learning and Leading!