African American Professional’s Day connects businesses with kids

One Omaha high school is hosting African American Professional's Day
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 6:01 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s never too early to find your career path, or at least see what’s out there. That head start can be especially important for people of color.

Hundreds of high school juniors and seniors packed the gym at North High Friday.

Lillian Nero is President of the Black Student Leadership Council and coordinator of African American Professional’s Day.

She said this is more than a career fair.

“They are offering jobs, they are offering scholarships, internships, great networking opportunities they’re offering wisdom and knowledge,” Nero said. “A lot of times we don’t get to see stuff like this, we don’t have career fairs in high school that’s just like a little second grader thing and it’s really good hearing kids say I don’t know what I want to be and they leave saying ok well I kind of like this I want to get into that so that’s what it’s all about.”

Desyree McGhee graduated from North High two years ago. She coordinated this event as a student and now returns as a young professional with United Airlines.

“My passion came out of nowhere,” McGhee said. “I wanted to travel so I ended up at the airport and I fell in love with it. It was something I wanted to wake up to every day and keep going even when I was tired, you know, I’m ready to go to work.”

Desyree said rubbing shoulders with black professionals in the community motivates students.

“It brings back inspiration and hope and also it gives representation that there are people that look like you in different career fields and I’m just thrilled to be here just to show them hey I was in your shoes just a couple of years ago and look at me now, I’m working for a corporate company, so just always believe in yourself you never know who you’ll meet,” she said.

Candice Price with Home Team Auto Sales is here every year. She said it’s vital to have local businesses involved.

“It’s important that the youth have an opportunity to see those that look like them in all the career fields and that they may not know exist, or it’s possible for them to be a part of, and so it’s important for us to be a part,” Price said. “And we offer scholarships for high school seniors, and this is a great way to get the word out so they know to apply.”

North High senior Shermar Gould is already a business owner.

He recently started his own company - Certified Royalty.

“It all came with just me wanting to better myself and put myself in a higher position,” Gould said. “My long-term goal is to be an entrepreneur, so clothing is my life, shoes are my life, so I did what I had I put two and two together and that’s what I came up with. If you asked me a year ago, I wouldn’t be able to say I’d be in a gym with everybody surrounding me and wanting to show love and support and loving what I do telling me it’s nice. I can’t express it enough.”

This marks the fifth year of African American Professional’s Day at North High.

Lillian Nero wants to see the Black Student Leadership Council expand into other Omaha Public Schools.

She believes that also helps events like this expand - leading more kids to find their career paths.

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