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VALLEY ROUNDUP | West Hills

Career Day Helps Kids Tune In to World of Jobs

May 07, 1999|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

David Crozier did more than talk about his job during the annual career day at Welby Way Elementary School on Thursday morning. The professional saxophone player belted out tunes and jammed for the children.

He played the theme music from "Scooby Doo," "The Flintsones," "The Addams Family" (the children supplied the requisite finger snaps) as well as a few jazz tunes. The students enthusiastically tapped their feet on the floor and their hands on their desks during the performance.

Crozier, 35, of West Hills said he hoped to expose the kids to uncommon professions.

"There are all these different ways to make a living, than just sitting behind a desk--actually something you could enjoy," he said. "It's neat to find your passion and be able to do it."

About 80 speakers, many of them parents, talked about their livelihoods in classrooms across the campus, said Fran Jasper, a resource specialist who organized the fifth annual event. The roster included a helicopter pilot, a screenwriter, a private investigator and a dietitian. City firetrucks and a city sanitation truck also visited the school.

Jasper said it's important for the students to learn about life after school. "All jobs don't have to be mundane and routine, and parents want to share that," she said. "Kids enjoy hearing about different types of careers they didn't even know existed."

Jimmy Esquivel, 11, said his favorite speaker was a dog trainer. He wants to be a veterinarian or an astronaut. "I want to find new planets, explore space," he said.

Amanda Payne, a veterinary technician from Van Nuys, brought along a kitten as she answered children's questions. One girl wondered if Payne had ever operated on a dragonfly. But the third-graders mainly bombarded Payne with stories of dogs and cats run over by cars and birds shot with BB guns.

Despite the children's tales of suffering pets, Payne said she enjoyed talking with them. "It's nice when you can make an impression on them at this age," she said.

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