A Day in the Life
DSABC mentors share career
experience with students
By Robin Provey
When the Danbury public middle schools held their annual Career Fairs this spring, a handful of Danbury Schools and Business Collaborative (DSABC) mentors were there to join in and share their career knowledge and experience.
At Broadview Middle School's career fair in April, Sarah Bollert of Cartus Corporation shared her experience as a senior corporate writer while Chip Abbott talked about being a corporate pilot. DSABC mentors Chip Daly, a Danbury fire lieutenant, and chiropractor Brian Applebee gave presentations at Rogers Park Middle School's career fair in March.
Bollert shared with students not only what it's like to be a writer, but also what it's like doing what you like. She explained that she enjoyed English so much that it was her college major. She said being a writer incorporates all of her favorite things, including being able to work from home several days a week.
"Exposing the younger generations to all types of people and personalities and careers enriches their lives and helps them discover where they fit in in the process of becoming adults and people who will eventually join the workforce. I think it's important for these students to know that they are a part of a strong and diverse community, and ultimately, that they are cared for," said Bollert.
Abbott, who flies for World Wrestling Entertainment in Stamford, shared a video of flying and talked about speed, altitude and filing flight plans, while students quickly formulated questions about what it's like to be up in the sky.
"I get great enjoyment sharing my experiences as a pilot from beginning to now in the hopes that even one child may take an interest in flying," Abbott said. "It is important, whatever vocation, to stress education naturally so much of my focus lies there. The best part is answering their questions. The kids are so thoughtful and truly interested -- that's what keeps me coming back each year."
It was the recollection of his mother's rewarding experience as a DSABC mentor that stuck with him all these years. Several years ago, he decided to honor her memory by following in her footsteps.
"There are many children who would benefit greatly from having a mentor," Abbott said. "The benefits go both ways as each mentor will surely see as they impact a child's life in even the smallest of ways."
Bollert said that she was inspired by a coworker to become a mentor.
"My belief is that adult interactions and connections with the younger generation are what grow thoughtful, confident and capable individuals," Bollert said. "Giving the one-on-one opportunity for children and teenagers to learn how to hold conversations with adults and see that an adult is invested in them gives kids the tools to successfully socialize and carry themselves in future - when they're in our shoes."