The outdoor event with a luncheon buffet, tables and chair distributed across the lawn, and well-dressed young people collecting business cards from local non-profits and business owners had all of the characteristics of a business networking event.

In fact, that’s what it was, but in this case all of the young people out to make a good impression were Millennium High School juniors engaged in a class assignment. It was an assignment that could indeed land them jobs or internships in town.

“The class is called Career Exploration, but really 21st Century workplace skills is what we’re here for,” said Tawn Schaffran, Millennium High’s lead counselor and internship coordinator. “This is really our way of teaching them how to network and put them in contact with potential opportunities.”

On Tuesday the students got to meet some of the folks in the Tracy community. The Tracy Chamber of Commerce, co-hosted the event and sent its Hire Me First coordinator Marissa Seaman to set up mock interviews in the afternoon.

Schaffran said that Millennium High has been doing its Senior Internship Community Partners Bruncheon for the past 15 years, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 when COVID-19 restrictions forced cancellation. In addition to making an impression themselves, students can also quiz local business leaders on the pathways they took to establish their careers.

She said that all of the charter school’s juniors, 117 of them, take the Career Exploration class as a prerequisite for doing an internship in their senior year. This year’s class is where they learn business etiquette, as well as how to communicate with people who run companies and non-profits in a professional manner.

“If you’re a non-profit or a business owner and you’re interested in providing an internship or job shadowing experience for a student, by all means, we’ve got 117 of them who are interested and willing,” she said.

• Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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