GRAND CROSSING — Students at Gary Comer College Preparatory High School will not only learn more about black culture during Black History Month in February but also about various work options at its fifth annual Career Day.
Administrators at the charter school at 7131 S. South Chicago Ave. said all of its students, including those in eighth grade, are able to participate in the Feb. 21 event.
"Career Day has historically been an occasion for our students to see successful African-American men and women in various fields of study," said Jerome Jackson, a spokesman for the school.
"Students have the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session to learn more about [panelists] and their career paths," he added.
A list of panelists will be finalized by the end of the month, according to Jackson. Panelists will receive a complimentary breakfast and lunch and a tour of the Gary Comer Youth Center next door, which is part of the campus.
Keynote speakers in the past have included Capt. Bill Pickney, the first African American to circumnavigate the world, and Col. Fred Gregory, deputy administrator of NASA who was the commander of two NASA space missions, Jackson said.
More recently, students have addresses the professional panelists in the opening remarks, Jackson said.
"This year we will again have student speakers, one alumnus and one current high school student to address the panel," he said.
Founded in 2008, Gary Comer, like Urban Prep Academy high school, has had a 100-percent college acceptance rate for its first two graduating classes.
"Most of the students here are African-American, and most of the teachers are white, and people sometimes ask me, 'How does that work?' I tell them color does not matter or should not matter when it comes to education," said James Troupis, principal of Gary Comer College Prep.