HAMILTON – The University of Montana’s We Are Montana in the Classroom initiative will hold a Career Exploration Day for 120 fourth-grade students from Daly Elementary on Friday, May 26, at Bitterroot College in Hamilton.
Co-created with a Bitterroot community advisory group, the Career Exploration Day wraps up a yearlong initiative powered by the Martin Family Foundation to embed role models in elementary- and middle-school classrooms, with an emphasis on engaging students with science, technology, entrepreneurship and mathematics.
To date, the initiative has engaged 21 role models from UM and the local community with 1,463 children in Hamilton and Corvallis. An additional 29 professionals from the Bitterroot completed We Are Montana in the Classroom’s “Role Models Matter” workshop in February, preparing them to engage with K-12 students in school and community settings.
At the May 26 event, role models from Bitterroot businesses and organizations will lead hands-on and minds-on activities and share their educational and career experiences with students. Following two hour-long, small-group sessions from 9 to 11 a.m., students will join the role models for an informal lunch. Participating role models include:
- Lea Guthrie, Bitterroot Land Trust
- Patrick Hanley, Robert Fischer and Anita Mora, Rocky Mountain Labs
- Claire Martens, GSK
- Michelle McConnaha, Ravalli Republic
- Marisa Sowles, Geum Environmental Consulting
“With our Bitterroot community advisory group, we envisioned this day as an opportunity for students to learn about local career opportunities in sectors ranging from journalism to biomedical research,” said Holly Truitt, director of the UM Broader Impacts Group. “Whether students are drawn to an apprenticeship in a trade, a two- or four-year college degree or graduate school, we’re here to share with them the many fulfilling career pathways that await them beyond high school.”
Part of the UM Broader Impacts Group within the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, We Are Montana in the Classroom engages more than 10,000 K-12 students each year with role models from the University and local communities. Its role-model initiative in the Bitterroot is part of a larger effort with the Martin Family Foundation and community partners to align K-12 students’ educational experiences with the real workforce development strengths and priorities in the Bitterroot.