The future looked bright on Thursday, Nov. 3 as almost 340 students from Ballinger and Miles high schools attended Career Day.

The future looked bright on Thursday, Nov. 3 as almost 340 students from Ballinger and Miles high schools attended Career Day.

Representatives from colleges and universities as well as government agencies, medical professionals and from businesses and retail outlets lined the hall near the gym as hundreds of students looked into the crystal ball to see what the future may bring them.

Kay Smith, a retired educator, has organized the event for the past 10 years for Ballinger ISD.  Smith said she was glad to see the interest and enthusiasm from both presenters and students.

"In spite of the rain, I felt the Career Day went very well,” Smith said.

During the event, students stopped at each table and asked questions of the presenters.  One of the busiest booths was Patty Hanks School of Nursing of Abilene, where Liz Mayes, director of Marketing and Recruitment was working alongside Pearl Wagley, a nurse and instructor at the school.

“The students are asking great questions,” Mayes said. “They have been very engaging.”

Senior Sierra Gutierrez said she plans to make nursing her career.

“If all goes as planned, I want to go into nursing,” she said.

Junior Stephanie Reyna, who plans to major in history at Angelo State University, said coming to the event was opening her up to other possibilities.

“I’ve expanded my mind on what else I could do,” Reyna said adding that she was interested in healthcare and perhaps working with a government agency like the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which was represented there.

Students were also stopping by the booth where Dr. David Bixler, who heads up the physics department at Angelo State University, was showing off some of his models.

“It was really cool,” said Miles Senior Nicholas Redman, who added that he plans to go into computer science.

The presenters for Career Day 2016 included the Texas Workforce Center, Angelo State University and McMurry University of Abilene; recruiters from the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines; the Natural Resource Conservation Service, FBI San Angelo, San Angelo Police Department, Congressman Mike Conaway’s office, Drew Durham, retired district attorney, TABC, Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the National Weather Service.

Medical entities represented at the event included the Esperanza Clinic, Big Country Area Health Education Center, Ballinger Memorial Hospital, Ballinger Home Health, Patty Hanks School of Nursing and Texas Tech School of Pharmacy.

Businesses and retailers represented included Demand Staff, Ballinger National Bank, First National Bank of Ballinger, First Community Federal Credit Union, Jacob and Martin LTD., Personnel Services, Ballinger Ledger/Winters Enterprise, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tractor Supply, Surveyors Tim Pappas and Brady Stanford and Nathan Pruett.

During the event, students conducted a scavenger hunt and Smith handed out Sonic gift cards to the winners.

The Ballinger High School Family Consumer Science student prepared lunch for the presenters when Career Day ended at just after noon.

Smith said following Career Day, she has been in touch with counselors who have reported that the students received some good information from the event.

“The counselors from Miles and Ballinger have reported that the some of their students made some decisions on what they want to do when they graduate,” Smith said. “Others have come by to check on ACT testing and about applying to school. I have received emails from several of the presenters about how they were impressed with our students."