In keeping with our mission to support girls and women, AAUW Carlisle celebrates high school girls who choose Career and Technical Education Programs of Study. AAUW recognizes that many high school students face pressure to attend four-year colleges from sources at school, at home, and in the wider community and culture. Furthermore, girls who pursue non-traditional tracks in high school rarely receive recognition. The combined impact of these influences may persuade some young women to pursue four-year degrees, often accompanied by significant debt when a vocational diploma would better suit their career goals.
We celebrate the girls in Career and Technical Education Programs of Study at Carlisle Area High School. These girls are often the one and only — Trailblazers! Teachers have recommended girls for recognition based on the following qualities: good citizenship at school, enthusiasm for their Program of Study, and academic competence with passing grades in all of their courses. In addition to recognizing the girls for their achievements, a panel of local women leaders will offer their insights to the girls as they prepare to move into their career fields or continue their technical education.
Trailblazers – 2023
On Tuesday, March 21, AAUW Carlisle presented our fifth Trailblazer Girls Recognition Event. Kathleen Gorak, Branch President, offered introductory and closing remarks. Trailblazer Committee members Barb Attivo, Gail D’Urso, Cherry France, and Carolyn Freberg introduced our honorees. This year, our panel included Safronia Perry, Executive Director of Hope Station and a Carlisle Borough Council member, and Katy Kreitzer, Universal Technical Institute graduate and partner with her father at Kreitzer Automotive. A third panelist was unable to attend due to illness. Trailblazer honorees are selected based on good citizenship at school, enthusiasm for their Career & Technology Education (CTE) Program, and academic competence. This year, we recognized ten seniors in CTE Programs: Breighanne Beecher, Nayleska Colon, Carly Robertson, Savanna Taylor in Automotive Technology; Laura Buhrman in Accounting; Katelyn Coldren and Amania Yaya in Health Careers; Aisling Golden and Cameron Threet in Culinary Arts; and Jayde Thomas in Engineering. It is worth noting that Aisling Golden was also recognized in her junior year and is the first student to have been recognized as a Trailblazer in both years.
Each of our honorees was presented with a certificate, originally designed by Peggy Jennings, and with a stadium blanket embroidered with “Trailblazer” and our branch logo. We were happy to see many of the parents of our honorees in the audience as well as Paula Bussard, President of the CASD School Board, Colleen Friend, Superintendent of CASD, Mike Gogoj, Assistant Superintendent of CASD, and Tracy Stritch, Co-op Coordinator at Carlisle High and the speaker at our February Branch Meeting. Dave Appleman was in attendance to see his four Automotive Technology students be recognized by AAUW.
New this year, Dr. Parrillo hosted a breakfast in early March for the AAUW Trailblazer Committee members and for our honorees. It was a great way for us to learn a bit more about the students and to get to know them better. Culinary Arts students prepared a delicious breakfast buffet under the direction of Chefs Ehly and Seros. Past President, Ann Pehle, offered her thoughts to students which were focused on three main ideas: You are responsible for your own reputation, try to take on new responsibilities and keep learning new skills, and careers do not always follow a straight line. Students listened intently to Ann’s advice and seemed grateful for the opportunity to participate in this special get-to-know-you event.
Trailblazers — 2021
The celebration of honorees for our third Trailblazers Girls’ Recognition Event was held on March 29 via Zoom. The week prior, Gail D’Urso, Trailblazers Chair visited the honorees at school to deliver the certificate and embroidered stadium blanket.
On March 29, the honorees, family, faculty, administration, school board members, and AAUW Carlisle members attended the Zoom Event. It was a wonderful celebration. Event program.
Trailblazers — 2020
Our second Trailblazers Girls’ Recognition Event scheduled for Monday, April 6 was canceled thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The honorees were selected based on the following criterion: good citizenship at school, enthusiasm for their Program of Study, and academic competence with passing grades in all courses.
We are very proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our honorees and regret that we were unable to recognize them publicly with a public in-person event. To honor the recipients, AAUW Carlisle created this document.
Trailblazers 2019 — Inaugural Event
On April 15, 2019 AAUW Carlisle launched a new tradition — Trailblazers Girls’ Recognition Event. Three juniors and four seniors, selected by their teachers to submit responses to a questionnaire about their CTE interests, were honored in the Fowler Auditorium at Carlisle High School. Light refreshments, provided by students in the Culinary Program, followed in the Culinary Café.
In keeping with our mission to support girls and women, AAUW Carlisle launched this “Trailblazers Recognition Event” to celebrate high school girls who choose Career and Technical Education Programs of Study. This idea has evolved from recognizing girls in STEM programs (who are likely to receive recognition elsewhere) to the recognition of girls who are pursuing study in vocational or technical fields. Teachers recommended girls for recognition based on the following qualities: good citizenship at school, enthusiasm for their Program of Study, and academic competence with passing grades in all of their courses.
AAUW recognizes that many high school students face pressure to attend four-year colleges from sources at school, at home, and in the wider community and culture. Furthermore, girls who are interested in non-traditional tracks in high school, such as automotive technology, engineering or construction trades, rarely receive positive support or recognition. The combined impact of these influences may persuade some young women to pursue four-year degrees, often accompanied by heavy college debts when a vocational diploma would better suit their career goals.
Dr. Parrillo, Director of Career and Technical at Carlisle Area High School opened the event. Ann Pehle welcomed the audience of honorees, parents, CTE students, and AAUW Carlisle members. Gail D’Urso introduced the panelists — Michelle Lisk, owner Synergy Home Care; Ashleigh Corby, owner Carlisle Pubs, Inc.; Melanie Kuzma, Assistant Service Manager at Faulkner Subaru — who shared their own experiences with a career in a CTE field. Then, each honoree was introduced and received a certificate. Seniors received a stadium blanket too.
Everyone thought the event a success. We have started a tradition that will be wonderful to keep.