Published on Friday, November 3, 2017

Career Day Shows "Options" for Young Adults

Boys and Girls Club visits RAMP

In 2016, NAR's president, Tom Salamone encouraged local REALTOR Associations to volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs in their areas. Mr. Salamone champions the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. RAMP's Community Service Committee answered Salamone's call and organized a Career Day that was held in December 2016. The program was such a success, the committee immediately pledged to repeat the program in 2017.

On November 2, 2017, teens from the Boys & Girls club located in McKeesport boarded a school bus and visited RAMP offices. The Community Service Committee members welcomed the students at the door with smiles.  Staff and student ambassadors from Community College of Allegheny County were also on hand to discuss educational programs available at CCAC and other educational institutions. The purpose of the program was to show that an education is attainable, financial aid is available, and entering the workforce is an important goal. Committee co-chair Bill Russo welcomed the teens and kicked off the program by discussing the many opportunities that are available in the real estate industry. From real estate sales to property manager to mortgage lenders, there are multitudes of careers to be considered just in our industry.

Co-Chair Bill Russo welcomes the students. 
Marlon Ferguson motivating the audience.

Kristin Spiker of CCAC explained furthering their education.

A special guest speaker was introduced at the start of the program and was a big hit with the kids. Marlon Ferguson, Executive Director of the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard, was engaging with the kids. The first thing noticed was Mr. Ferguson's height. At 6'8" Marlon towers over most people. His height was helpful when he was a student athlete at the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Ferguson regaled the students with stories of his basketball career and how his high school coach placed an emphasis on being a star student over being a star athlete. Marlon proved to his coach that he could be both and it paid off when major colleges across the United States offered scholarships. Marlon graduated from Pitt and then served 7 years in the United States Navy as an Intelligence Officer. He also was fortunate enough to play two years for the Navy basketball team.

Mr. Ferguson's message to the students featured the key word: Options. He encouraged the kids to have options. Explore multiple avenues for their future. Be open-minded and try different things. Ferguson also noticed the shyness of some of the young adults. He told them to greet everyone with a firm handshake, look them in the eye when speaking and speak clearly. The reason is simple, you don't know with whom you are speaking. One of the students was asked what she wanted to do with her life after high school. Her response was she wanted to get into special effects makeup. It turns out Marlon has a friend who runs a special effects business. He can put in a good word for the student and help get her foot in the door of the industry. It was a great example of why you want to make a great first impression.

Following the information session, everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch that included pizza donated by Slice on Broadway in Beechview. By 1:00 pm the kids were back on the bus headed to school armed with information that will make a difference in their futures.

 A group photo
Committee members Michelle Senko, Bill Russo, Ed Sickmund, and Preston Moore

Committee members Michelle Schocker, Emily Platts, Alice Vaday, Jene Boehm, and Ed Sickmund

Again, this year's Career Day proved to be a success. The committee is doubling down on this venture and are planning to offer two sessions in 2018. Good luck to the kids in this exciting time as young adults and thank you to everyone who played a role in the program.



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Author: Jeff Zirngibl

Categories: REALTOR® Care


Jeff Zirngibl
Jeff Zirngibl>

Jeff Zirngibl

Membership Director at the REALTORS Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh

Other posts by Jeff Zirngibl

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