Kent Island and Queen Anne’s County High School Students Explore Career Horizons at Chesapeake College

Chesapeake College recruiter discusses Marine Trades with QAC 10th graders
Chesapeake College recruiter J.P. Kelly discusses Marine Trades training with a group of 10th graders from Queen Anne’s County.

WYE MILLS – Over 400 sophomore students from Kent Island High School and Queen Anne’s County High School recently participated in a new career and college exploration trip at Chesapeake College. This venture was born out of a vision and partnership among Queen Anne’s County Economic and Tourism Development, Chesapeake College, and Queen Anne’s County Public Schools.

The engaging experience, designed to expose students to diverse career and academic pathways, succeeded in sparking interest and strengthening future goals for many participants.

“The success of the career and college exploration trip underscores the importance of providing young people with early exposure to various career options,” said Adam Tolley, Supervisor of Career and Technical Education for Queen Anne’s County Public Schools. “By promoting awareness and understanding, these initiatives play a crucial role in influencing and shaping students’ academic and professional journeys.”

QAC sophomores test laparoscopic tools while learning about the Surgical Technology Program at Chesapeake College.
Queen Anne’s County sophomores Isabella Passaro (left) and Makenzie Strannahan (right) take laparoscopic tools for a test drive while learning about the Surgical Technology Program at Chesapeake.

Faculty and staff at Chesapeake College worked with QAC Career and Technology Liaison Connie Dean to design tours and activities that gave students a clear view of how CTE programs in high school lead to post-secondary education and then into career paths.

Chesapeake College Dean of Workforce and Skilled Trades Jason Mullen said, “Chesapeake College is the perfect next step for CTE students on a variety of career pathways. Our programs build on what students have already learned and provide the learning experiences they need to begin their careers.”

Led by dedicated volunteers, local businesses, staff and industry professionals, the trip offered students a firsthand look at five key fields: Skilled Trades, Health, Agriculture, Computer Science, and Education.

Through interactive demonstrations, and engaging discussions, students gained valuable insights into the skills, education, and opportunities associated with each career path.

“I enjoyed the trip so much! I feel as though it was very informative and it gave myself and other students the opportunity to see some jobs that we may want to pursue in the future,” said sophomore Samone Hicks, “I highly recommend it!”

The trip also provided students with a glimpse into college life at Chesapeake College. They saw the campus, learned about academic programs, and had the chance to interact with faculty and members of the area’s business community.

“It was fascinating to see the interest the students had in their sessions and all the opportunities they uncovered at Chesapeake College,” said Heather Bacher Senior Vice President, Business Banking Market Executive of Shore United Bank. “We are lucky to have so many programs offered at Chesapeake and this was a great opportunity to inform our rising students in Queen Anne’s County to learn about career field options and related educational programs.”

Kathy Deoudes, Chair, of the University of Maryland Medical System/Shore Regional Health System Board of Directors added, “I want to thank Connie Dean, the QAC Economic Development team, Chesapeake College and Queen Anne’s County Public Schools for the opportunity to lead a tour of QACHS students through Chesapeake College’s Health Professions Center. This is an important and vital collaboration that provides a pipeline for students seeking careers in healthcare, and for UMMS/Shore Health and other medical facilities needing to fill positions.”

Several businesses and agencies provided tour guides and helped make the event possible, including the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board (WIB), Circuit Court of Queen Anne’s County, PRS Guitars, University of Maryland Shore Health, Shore United Bank, New Vertical Technologies, DORS of Maryland, Centreville Rotary, Heron Point – Acts Life, Maryland Department of Labor, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, Chesapeake College and Queen Anne’s County Economic and Tourism Development.

“The value of the event to those who attended was evident, and as a professional in the workforce industry it was so refreshing.  I absolutely enjoyed the experience and look forward to other events for the benefit of our students and future leaders,” said Jessie Ferrio, Business Services Representative, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS).

For more information about career pathways and programs at Chesapeake College, please visit

Download a PDF copy of the news release here.

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