Tag Archives: GPS Your Future

Five Things Students Learned at Our Annual “GPS Your Future” Event

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Expo hall at CSU Dominguez Hills filled with ITEP students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

Take charge of today and plan for tomorrow. Earlier this fall, this is exactly what over 580 ITEP students did during our annual GPS Your Future event, held at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Here are the 5 things our students learned during the event:

1. It’s never too early to network
ITEP students explored our biggest expo hall to date! With more exhibitors this year than ever before (31 total), students had the opportunity to explore a variety of booths manned by great event sponsors and supporters like the Port of Los Angeles, Bank of America, Long Beach City College, SoCalGas, DoubleTree Hotel Carson, and trades represented by Ironworkers Local Union 416 and Pile Drivers Local 2375.

Hard hats and suits came together to educate our young leaders on life after high school and career options in their communities. Students who envisioned following one career path left the day curious to explore a new track. One ITEP student from Phineas Banning High School revealed that he was always interested in becoming an engineer, but after speaking with a U.S. Coast Guard representative, he is considering a new career.

2. Let the fear go and ask questions
Students (and even some professionals) are often afraid to ask questions. Our thoughts sometimes get the best of us and we hold back and the exploration process stops. GPS Your Future was created to spark curiosity and give students a forum to begin navigating and discovering a brighter future. In order to help the exploration process, all ITEP students and exhibitors participated in a “Ticket to Success” activity. Each student received a “ticket” that was filled with a sticker every time they asked a compelling question to an exhibitor. At the end of the event, the top three students who collected the most stickers received a reward. Shout out to Gardena and Dorsey High Schools for asking terrific questions and making the most of our expo hall!

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An exhibitor rewards an ITEP student with a sticker for the “Ticket to Success” activity during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

3. Always dress for success
Will Rogers said it best: “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Even as a high school freshman, you never know whom you might meet at your next field trip or an event like GPS Your Future. ITEP students took note and dressed as young professionals, not typical freshmen. Even our exhibitors and speakers commented on how impressed they were with our students. Check out how sharp they looked!

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ITEP students pose for a picture during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event held at CSUDH.

4. Love what you do, always
Our students heard firsthand life lessons from our keynote speaker, Anthony Pirozzi, Director of Systems Integration, Test and Launch at Boeing. Mr. Pirozzi also serves on the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission and is a San Pedro High School alum. His love for electronics and STEM started at a very young age while fixing televisions with his father. Today, he launches satellites into space.

“I didn’t know I was going to do this… I can put a satellite in space, but I still can’t fix a television. When you’re in something that you love, you find a way to continue to grow and with that comes different rewards,” exclaimed Pirozzi.

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Keynote speaker, Anthony Pirozzi from Boeing, addresses students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

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Jesse Gomez from Boeing, addresses students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

Another Boeing employee, Jesse Gomez, shared the stage with Mr. Pirozzi. Mr. Gomez is a System Engineering Lead and a big STEM proponent. His road to success began while serving in the U.S. Army as a Flight Operations Specialist. Thank you, Boeing for introducing ITEP students to STEM and promoting the success of all youth.

5. Be enthusiastic
Our students were in the best environment to practice great eye contact and firm handshakes. The expanded expo hall allowed for many one-on-one conversations and small breakout rooms provided an intimate classroom atmosphere so that even the most shy attendee felt welcomed. This year, we also utilized CSUDH’s Financial Market Trading and Business Simulation Lab, which enabled students to feel like they were in the middle of Wall Street. A 22-foot-wide LED ticker tape and 110-inch video wall displayed current news from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We’re sure tomorrow’s stockbroker was allured and impressed!

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Two engineers from Tesoro discuss their road to success during a breakout session at ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event. Thank you, Tesoro!

Whether it’s a job in finance, the goods movement, STEM, or hospitality, GPS Your Future makes options visible and attainable for ITEP students. The event is just the beginning of many career dreams. The rest is yet to be written, so stay tuned.

To view additional event photos, please visit our Facebook Page here.

A special thank you to our event sponsors: CSU Dominguez Hills, California Community Colleges-Doing What Matters for Global Trade and Logistics hosted by Long Beach City College, Watson Land Company, Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles Harbor College, Real Property Collaborative, Bank of America, Comerica, and Santa Monica College. 

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Dorsey High School, Downey High School, Gardena High School, Narbonne High School, Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School, San Pedro High School, Warren High School

GPS Your Future 2013: More Than Just Numbers

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320 student attendees
27 exhibitors
25 ITEP staff, alumni, and board members
18 speakers
1 non-profit
1 university
1 community college

Who knew that an idea at an ITEP Board of Director’s retreat would’ve grown to this, even after just 4 years of inception? Our 4th Annual GPS Your Future event on October 11, 2013 had more to show off than BIG numbers. We had new additions, a revamped speaker series and stronger emphasis on new education initiatives; and it all happened within hours!

Like in previous years, trade, transportation and logistics were well-represented and well complemented by our new participants in the global business sphere – Avatronex, Prudential, StubHub Center, and Tesoro, just to name a few.

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The growth in exhibitors and participants made for an electrifying exhibit hall and recharged speaker sessions. Global industry professionals spoke about their “road to success” while sharing stories of personal and professional failure and success.

Higher education and technology also played a stronger role during the event. LA Harbor College represented their top programs (Architecture, Culinary Arts and Nursing) and were joined by CSU Dominguez Hills and the Fashion Institute of Merchandising and Design (FIDM). LA Harbor College counselors also led an interactive activity with the use of tablets, and a CSUDH Community College Outreach Officer presented a “how to transfer/get to college” session. Kudos to Sara, Dan and Pilar, our fantastic counselors/speakers! From career exploration to the discovery of an higher education pathway, ITEP students traveled through a road of their own in a matter of hours, and the results again spoke louder than any number.

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“Me, personally, all I wanted to do was go to the Marine Corps – that’s it – since I was about 6. Being here today, I figured out a few things I might want to do, like a marine biologist… or go into law enforcement – FBI, CIA, even a police academy. And it taught me something… if shoot for the moon and I miss, I’ll still land in the stars…” said Fernando, GBAC student at Carson High School.

Our teachers in attendance were also inspired.

“The questions you came up with and the interaction that you had with the adults who were presenting to you today – it was good. I was impressed,” said Holly Bowser, Lead Teacher for Barstow High School’s Mojave XP Academy, as she addressed her students.

“I learned a lot from this experience because of all of you.” And so did we.

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GPS Your Future continues to evolve thanks to our sponsors, supporters and team, and while the numbers will continue to grow (we’ll always strive for this), “bigger and better” will never be great without the time and talent from our business partners. Our students will continue to ask for more exhibitors, speakers and perhaps even cooler swag, but in the end, it’s the revamped or bigger dreams that make our event have plenty of heart. No big numbers can top that.

Want to get involved in GPS Your Future 2014 or other ITEP event? Let us know!

For event photos, check out our Facebook Page.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Carson High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Gardena High School, GBAC, GESA, GGLA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA