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Baker? Doctor? TV Star? Students explore careers

-  I Have a Dream Oregon brings Career Day to Alder Elementary School with more than 30 professionals


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Amy Roloff of 'Little People, Big World,' speaks to Alder Elementary students Friday about her TV series, books and charity.

From a French baker to an FBI agent, and a medical student to a TV personality, more than 30 professionals came to share their careers with students at Alder Elementary School Friday.

“Because I’m so different and short, a lot of people told me I couldn’t do a lot of stuff,” said TV personality Amy Roloff of “Little People, Big World.”

“The one thing that kept me going — that no one could take away from me — was what I learned and my education.”

“Little People, Big World” chronicles Roloff and her family’s life at their farm near Portland. Roloff, her husband, Matt, and one of their four children, Zach, are diagnosed with dwarfism.

The Roloff family saw the show as a way to educate the public about their lives.

Roloff said she was able to branch out and try new things like writing books because of the TV show. She also founded the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation.

Messages such as Roloff’s got Alder students excited about a variety of jobs during Career Day. The event was organized as a way to “create a culture of college and career.”

At Alder, 95 percent of students qualify for free or reduced school lunches, making it the second-highest poverty-level school in Oregon. The elementary school — part of the Reynolds School District — became the first Dreamer School in the nation in 2010.

Through “I Have a Dream” Oregon, Dreamer students from low-income communities are supported into high school and beyond, with the goal of helping them pursue post-secondary education and economic independence in adulthood.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Molly Thurston Parker of Queen of Hearts Baking Company told students cooking and baking with their families was a good way to start a career in culinary arts.

Many of the students will become the first in their families to attend college. As a Dreamer School, Alder has a goal for all of its students to eventually graduate high school, with 80 percent earning a college degree or post-high school certificate.

Molly Thurston Parker of Queen of Hearts Baking Company spoke to students about culinary arts, eliciting excitement about cookies, pies, brownies and cakes.

“Maybe you will have your own bakery someday,” Parker told them before offering pie samples.

Medical students from Oregon Health & Science University saw students light up as they presented their tools, including a reflex hammer, stethoscope, pen light and blood pressure cuff.

Kate Marshall said it was nice to have students connect with the medical field early, as she didn’t know any doctors outside the pediatrician’s office as a child. All of the students agreed Career Day was a nice break in the day from medical studies.

“This is the most fun I’ve had all year,” said Sheeva Johnson, a student. “The students are so smart, nice, cute and engaged.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Left to right, medical students Kate Marshall, Sam Klonoski, Sheeva Johnson, Geena Romer and James Rohlfing share tools including a reflex hammer and stethoscope with Alder students.



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