It was a reunion of sorts Friday at Keaau High School as members of the Hawaii Army National Guard attended the school’s college and career fair.
Students watched as a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter landed on the Keaau High School football field as soldiers, including two alumni from the school, explained the helicopter’s history and purpose.
The two alumni, Spc. Alvin Galvez and Sgt. Andrew Noji, graduated from Keaau High School in 2014 and 2003, respectively. Although the National Guard had no presence at career fairs during their high school days, both said the armed forces represented the best opportunities for them to pursue careers.
Staff Sgt. Gregory Lum Ho, himself an athletics coach at Keaau High School, said he hopes the helicopter — which saw service in Iraq and Kuwait — will return for future career fairs.
“Some of these kids are thinking about joining the military, too,” Noji said as students filed through the helicopter, adding that the armed forces paid for his college education.
Indeed, some students expressed an interest in joining the military during the fair. Sophomore Braxson Castro, 15, said he hopes to join the Navy thanks to its presence at previous career fairs.
Beyond the armed forces, dozens of local, state and international organizations were present at the fair, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Chaminade University, Pizza Hut and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
For two hours, attendees explained their careers to groups of students, who gathered in the school gymnasium to try to determine what they should do for their careers.
While some students were uncertain about their futures, others were confident about what they want to do after graduating.
Junior Dave Messer, 17, said he has wanted to study computer science for years, before ever attending any career fair.
With spring break beginning next week, however, students’ attentions appeared divided.
“I think my favorite booth was McDonald’s, actually,” Castro joked, saying he got a free milkshake out of the fair.
Email Michael Brestovansky at firstname.lastname@example.org.