Brea elementary students learn job skills from pros

About four dozen Laurel Magnet students pose for photo on the school's stage
Dozens of students from Laurel Magnet School in Brea teamed up with business and community service groups this school year.

Students from Laurel Magnet School in Brea Olinda Unified spent part of their school year learning about finances from bankers, emergency response from cops, animal care from veterinarians and other job skills from professionals as part of year-long partnerships aimed at teaching students about different careers.

The school’s Innovation and Career Exploration program teamed each of Laurel’s 14 classrooms with a local Brea business or community group from the fields of hospitality, food service, veterinary, law enforcement, orthodontics and others.

At the start of the school year, classrooms and their industry partners were presented with a problem to solve. They were:

  • “How do we tell our community about emergencies?” for the Brea Police Department and a kindergarten class.
  • “How can we protect animals in our community?” for Brea Veterinary Hospital and a kindergarten class.
  • “How can we attract new guests to visit the newly renovated Embassy Suites hotel?” for Embassy Suites of Brea and a second-grade class.
  • “How can we educate others about how banks work and how to save money?” for First Financial Credit Union and a third-grade class.
  • “How can we give back to the Brea Community?” for the Brea Rotary Club and a third-grade class.
  • “What can we do to educate our community about food waste and its impact?” for Republic Services and a fourth-grade class.
  • “How will Laurel students maintain a $4,000 budget while creating a landscape design that is drought tolerant?” for Perfect Circle Landscape Design and a fifth-grade class.
  • “What roles do orthodontists play in our everyday world?” for Curtis Orthodontics and a sixth-grade class.

Over the past few months, teams worked through brainstorming sessions, field trips and classroom visits to find viable solutions. Last week, the school held a Career Exploration Showcase where teams presented marketing and advertisement videos that highlighted solutions.

Laurel invited parents and community members to the showcase, which was also billed as a the school’s career fair.

“As a community partner, your time, attention, dedication and shared knowledge will inspire these students above and beyond their school years,” Laurel Principal Heather Bojorquez told the industry and community partners.

“These students are our future entrepreneurs, community leaders, medical professionals, financial advisors, hospitality directors, teachers and community activists,” she said.

To see video highlights from the showcase, visit the Brea Olinda Unified School District’s Facebook page at