The Ridgway Secondary School is hosting the 2021 Ridgway Youth Volunteer & Career Fair to introduce middle and high school students to part-time work and volunteer opportunities in the community.
Businesses and nonprofits are invited by the Ridgway School District and Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce to the one-hour event from 11 a.m. to 12 noon on Wednesday, April 21, to share information and meet potential job and volunteer position applicants.
“I think that getting more students to get involved with local businesses and organizations can help build work ethic, a sense of community, and confidence in their own abilities. I know that’s what working did for me!” said Maisy Gardiner, one of the student organizers of the fair as well as the designer of the fair logo.
Businesses and nonprofits can reserve a table at the fair and bring two representatives to interact with students. There is a $20 fee to offset fair organization expenses. The Ridgway Chamber as a co-sponsor of the event will pay the fee for chamber members.
“I attended the 2019 fair to make contact with kids who might be interested in working at Lucky Find Consignments during the summer,” said Lucky Find Owner Lynne Stovicek.
“I was pleasantly surprised by how many students stopped by to talk with me. I did keep a names list of students who might be interested in working at my shop. I was able to interview some of them and found a student who was a wonderful fit.”
Due to concerns about COVID-19, this year’s Volunteer and Career Fair will take place outside on the front patio and lawn of the school. All participants will be required to follow public health protocol while at the Ridgway Secondary School, including wearing face masks, keeping group size at tables to a minimum, and avoiding physical contact.
Gardiner, who is a 12th grader, said students can use volunteer experience to “set yourself up for success on college and scholarship applications, plus it feels good to give back to the community!” She also explained that “speaking with businesses is a great way to find the right fit and understand what to expect out of a summer job before applying.”
So far, companies and organizations that have reserved tables at the fair include the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, Ouray KOA, True Grit, Second Chance Humane Society, Voyager Youth Program, Lucky Find Consignments, and the National Guard. The reservation deadline is April 12.
“It can be intimidating to learn about companies initially and this is an opportunity to make that first step easier,” Gardiner said. “I think the career and volunteer fair is a great way for students to find ways to become more involved in their community and invest in their future. I am already employed but will certainly be looking for ways to volunteer locally and help the community out.”
For more information and registration, go to https://ridgwaycolorado.com/news-events/youth-volunteer-career-fair-2021. For information about the chamber and member benefits, go to https://ridgwaycolorado.com/about.