Students explored career and higher education options at the MER Career Fair at the Patagonia School. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

The Mountain Empire Rotary Club held its 3rd annual Career Fair at the Patagonia School on March 8. Students in grades 7 through 12 from both Elgin and Patagonia schools had the opportunity to meet with representatives at more than 40 resource tables, including colleges and universities, Customs and Border Patrol, utility companies, South32, local nonprofits, health care professions, armed forces, human services agencies and county government departments. 

Information about programs designed to give students a head start on certifications and college credits, summer opportunities at Borderlands Restoration, post high school experiences, fun with robotics, presented by the Nogales High School Robotics Club, and the consequences of becoming involved in drug trafficking were topics covered in panel discussions throughout the morning. 

Dean Fish, of the Santa Fe Ranch, gave the keynote speech, titled “Sustainable Agriculture: the New Face of Ranching.”

The landing of the Arizona LifeLine helicopter, a bucket truck from Unisource, and demonstrations by the Nogales Police Department canine unit all took place outside the gym, while exhibitions featuring drones from the Cochise Technology District, and a robot designed by the Nogales High School robotics club were held indoors. 

“It’s exciting to see the kids exploring options for their future,” Randy Heiss, organizer of the event, said. “The program was designed to get our students thinking about their career goals, and it appears we were successful in doing just that, thanks to the support of today’s participants.”