BFA student using green watering can to water a plant outside in the sun

Women Can Do! This was the message heard and seen at the annual career exploration conference ‘Women Can Do’, organized by Vermont Works for Women. On October 6th, a group of 9th and 10th graders from BFA joined hundreds of other high school girls and gender-expansive youth from around the state to attend this event at Vermont Technical College. They spent the day learning about and trying out careers in the STEM fields and trades. From goat cheese production to welding, the options were endless

Here’s what a few of our students had to say:

Maggie: "I really enjoyed getting to talk to the adults there about different types of jobs, they all had really good resources and information! I also enjoyed the hands-on activities, especially welding."

Bridgette: "It was fun to look at all the options we have. I enjoyed learning about the military and construction. I liked seeing women doing jobs that are labeled as masculine."

Myla: "I found out what I want to do when I get older. There were so many things to do and try in the medical field." 

Alaina: “At the conference we got the chance to learn about many potential career paths that we wouldn't have known about otherwise.  I liked all of the hands-on activities and I ended the day feeling more confident in what I want to do after school.  It was so much fun to be able to hang out with friends and meet tons of new people.” 

This event aims to demonstrate to girls and gender-expansive youth that they can be and do anything they want. They were exposed to a variety of careers and services that support women in Vermont. This is an opportunity for gender norms and roles to be broken down as the students witness women showing off skills and careers that they may not have heard of or thought were possible for them. There were outdoor and indoor expos during which students could choose to try activities such as: flying an airplane simulator, changing a tire, welding their name into a metal plate, rolling cheese in everything but the bagel seasoning, planting flowers for a nursery, inserting an IV into a realistic but plastic patient arm, and many more. 

Seeing the joy and excitement on their faces throughout the day made the 6:45am departure from school worth it for everyone.  We are already looking forward to attending next year!

Elizabeth Noonan
BFA 9-12 Principal