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Great Expectations for the Future

career_day

Most of the students from the BCCP program are thinking about college, and some of them even filled out their applications already (or will soon). It all sounds very promising, but going to college will be an entirely new experience – how can they be excited about the future when they don’t know anything about it?
That’s what career day at the Brooklyn College Art Lab was all about – envisioning the future. Not many people know more about the future than keynote speaker Garry Golden, who helps major corporations develop new ideas for all kinds of products: Cars, clubs, concerts, romance novels and even chicken (?!). Garry knows what college can do for a person’s career – he says that going to college in Wisconsin was “the turning point in my life.”
But Garry says his job isn’t as dramatic as it seems: “It’s not about science-fiction – it’s all about change,” he says. “Be prepared for change.”
More than a hundred students came to hear Garry speak. “I was really impressed to have so many students come to an after-school event,” says BCAL site director Denise Paige. “It was just amazing, and it really shows that young people care about their future.”
But Garry wasn’t the only person who came to BCAL for career day. A group of teaching artists and professionals showed up to say a few words about their accomplishments and goals. Each of them came from a different professional background: Deborah Ann Jacobs is a biomedical scientist, Quinton Spikener is a successful musician. Professor Heidi Holder, whose degree in art history led to a productive career with the Smithsonian, says that dreams can inspire and even nourish our plans for the future. “Since I was a teenager,” she says, “I’ve just been pursuing that dream.”
“They felt very important that people would come and talk to them,” says Denise about the students at BCAL. “Not a lot of students had been exposed to professionals…. All of the presenters saw this as a way of giving back.”
One of BCAL’s favorite teaching artists is drummer Ivan Katz, who understands the importance of music programs like the one he teaches here. “We need entertainers,” he told everyone at BCAL on career day. “What’s life without music?”