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Lt. Sherwin Valdez, an emergency room nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Gricignano, Italy, near Naples, lets pupils listen to each others' heartbeats using a stethoscope during the annual Career Fair, held at the Naples elementary and high schools Thursday.
Lt. Sherwin Valdez, an emergency room nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Gricignano, Italy, near Naples, lets pupils listen to each others' heartbeats using a stethoscope during the annual Career Fair, held at the Naples elementary and high schools Thursday. (Sandra Jontz / S&S)
Lt. Sherwin Valdez, an emergency room nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Gricignano, Italy, near Naples, lets pupils listen to each others' heartbeats using a stethoscope during the annual Career Fair, held at the Naples elementary and high schools Thursday.
Lt. Sherwin Valdez, an emergency room nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Gricignano, Italy, near Naples, lets pupils listen to each others' heartbeats using a stethoscope during the annual Career Fair, held at the Naples elementary and high schools Thursday. (Sandra Jontz / S&S)
Pupils take a whirl at hula hoops supplied by the Morale Welfare and Recreation personnel at the annual Career Fair held Thursday at the Naples elementary and high schools. The hula hoops were an example of some of the extra curricular activities children can pursue to keep in good physical shape.
Pupils take a whirl at hula hoops supplied by the Morale Welfare and Recreation personnel at the annual Career Fair held Thursday at the Naples elementary and high schools. The hula hoops were an example of some of the extra curricular activities children can pursue to keep in good physical shape. (Sandra Jontz / S&S)

NAPLES, Italy — Andrea Corliss had her mind made up.

The 12-year-old planned to be a movie star when she grows up.

Then she attended Thursday’s Career Fair at Naples Elementary School.

“A lot of us already have our minds set,” said the articulate sixth-grader. “We already have our dream college or our dream jobs. But then, going through the career fair helped me a lot to understand there are so many different jobs out there.”

Like photography.

Or being a mortician, she said.

Andrea exemplifies the reason behind the two-day event, this year held for the first time at both the elementary and high schools.

“It’s never too early for children to find a direction or area of interest,” said Coleen Byrnes, the elementary school nurse, and this year’s fair coordinator.

Through the Partnership in Education Program, which links schools with their local business communities, pupils are exposed to a smattering of career options, both in and out of the military. The fair continues Friday.

Children float from booth to booth, whetting their appetites on presentations from culinary workers and learning what it takes to become doctors, aviators, lawyers, firefighters, cosmetologists, interior designers, journalists, musicians, investigators, catchers of computer hackers, and morticians — just to name a few.

“This is always a great opportunity for the community to see the school,” Byrnes said, “and the school to see the community.”

Kai Shepherd said she came away with the most important lesson of all — one that can be applied to a career in or out of the home.

“I learned about babies,” said the 9-year-old, “and that you have to take care of them really, really well.”

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