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by Mary Madewell,
The Paris News

Born in Talihina, Okla., Kim Taylor-Garza is proud of her Native American heritage and her tribe's long dedication to education.

She now shares Choctaw Nation culture and traditions with first-grade students at Chisum Elementary School as a student teacher under the guidance of longtime mentor Carla Sanders. A student at Texas A&M University--Commerce, Kim will finish her internship and residency at the end of the school year.


"The children just love it when I bring something special from home and tell them about its meaning," Kim said. "They particularly like the pow-wow outfits my son wears."



A handmade shawl or blanket has special significance, passed down from her grandmother to her mother and someday to Kim.


"This is a very special to me as are the beaded crafts my mother makes," she said.

Being Native American I can bring the culture to the students," Kim said. "They see it and not just read about it in books. They can touch the material and it becomes very real to them."


"They can see from my people's viewpoint the history of America and how it is we came to be one great nation and that we truly are all Americans," Kim said. "My people just happened to be here first."

Hundreds of years before Europeans came to North America, the Choctaw people were farmers who settled in the Southeastern part of the country. They were later forcibly moved to Oklahoma during a forced marched called the Trail of Tears.


"Students my age grew up in school reading books based on one point of view," Kim said. "Now Native Americans are getting another point of view out and I think that is important.

"We are all one people and there are no good guys and bad guys like has been portrayed in western movies," Kim said.

Kim grew up attending pow-wows and watched native dancers but did not participate herself. However she is making it a point to see her sons participate in grass dancing.

Before special occasions younger boys danced around ceremonial grounds to stomp tall grasses before tribe elders began to dance.

"Now its more of a competition," Kim said.


Why you should be a mean parent...
Our kids are among the most indulged young people in history. We may be setting them up for failure as adults if we fail to give them 4 essential life skills.
By Donna_Freedman Tue 12:17 PM



Are your kids prepared for life? Quite a few of our children aren't. Citing 8-year-olds who won't tie their own shoes and 20-somethings who stay up all night and sleep until noon, Elizabeth Kolbert suggests that we are raising "


(Well, except maybe for "the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France.")


"It's not just that they've been given unprecedented amounts of stuff -- clothes, toys, cameras, skis, computers, televisions, cell phones, PlayStations, iPods. They've also been granted unprecedented authority," Kolbert writes in The New Yorker. More.

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Career Connection Newsletter

January 2013                    

2013 Expo Transportation 



Mark your calendars....

Upcoming Job Fairs in Oklahoma



January 22, 2013 - Devon Energy, OKC

January 31, 2013 - Recruit Military Hiring Event, OKC

January 31, 2013 - Nationwide Job Fair, Tulsa

February 6, 2013 - OKC Thunder, OKC

February 7, 2013 - Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Shawnee

February 7, 2013 - Eastern OK Veteran & Military Hiring Fair, Muskogee





Job Search Spotlight


Use the Side Door To Enter This Tough Job Market 

By Caroline Doud-Higgins, Director of Career & Professional Development, Indiana University


With the new realities of this job economy you can't rely on posted positions to land career opportunities. Innovation, creativity and strategic thinking are the most sought after competencies by employers, so use these skills to get into organizations where the front door is clearly locked. A side door entry is possible and will distinguish you as a resilient career builder that found an alternative route...


Other Side Door insights:

In Through the Side Door

Side Doors to a Shorter Search


Adult Career Counseling

The world of work is constantly changing. Loyalty to employers has weakened, and The Bureau of Statistics estimates people entering the work force will have three to five careers and eight to ten jobs during their life. Thus, career counselors must continuously update their knowledge regarding demographics, employment statistics, changing technology, and the future for trends in employment. The labor market is experiencing change which is requiring adults to consider retraining and new skill acquisitions.   Career counselors are requested to help clients manage their attempt to find an enjoyable career, possibly retrain to learn new skills, and develop realistic views and expectations for themselves. Counselors are expected to provide services for many different types of job seekers. Some examples of adults that benefit from career counseling include:  

  • portfolio workers who are individuals whose marketability in employment is based on skills and knowledge rather than titles and seniority. Most often their loyalty will be to themselves.
  • displaced workers who are facing new careers and having to job search for the first time. Often this group will be ill equipped to develop new work lives. It can be a challenge for a counselor to convince this group to learn new skills in order to become marketable in this technological world of work.  
  • older adults who are finding themselves needing or wanting to continue working beyond their original expected age of retirement. They often need career counseling as they seek new directions for employment. Many of them are at a loss as to where to begin looking for new employment based on finding themselves in this position because of such situations as forced retirement, buyouts, downsizing, or having obsolete skills for new technology. 
  • highly educated individuals for fields that are saturated which cause fewer positions of employment to be available. In addition, this group may find they are over-educated and under-skilled for many fields of employment that are available in the continuously changing job market.


  • culturally diverse clients, including ethnic minorities and immigrants, may experience culture-specific constraints and barriers that affect their career development. Career counselors may need to help these individuals identify the importance of their cultural characteristics as they relate to their career development and selection.


Career counselors provide support and direction for a very diverse group of clients; however, there is also a need for individuals seeking training and/or employment to have a vested interest in the changes in their lives. The world of technology offers many tools for clients to use to help determine new directions for their future. Two such tools that are available on the web and free for use by clients and counselors are for BUILD YOUR FUTURE WITH O*NET ONLINE and for O*NET Resource Center.


The search for relevant tools for use by career counselors will always be ongoing in order to stay up to date with the continuous changes in the world of work. The need for career counseling for adults is increasing and presents unique challenges with each new client.




Does your resume match your interview?


Many job seekers are advised to customize their resume to the position that they are applying to. However, I have noticed many seekers do not mention those skills and experiences during the interview. So, how do you customize your interview to match your resume

Choctaw Career Development's Recommendations: 

  •          Simply to spend adequate time reviewing the resume you have created and be able to speak to and explain all the specific qualifications you have included.
  •          Review the job description and prepare to discuss how your skills sets and experiences match the description. What items from your resume best match the requirements in the description?
  •          Don't forget the soft skills aspect - do your homework on the culture of the company and prepare to demonstrate how you fit into that culture through your verbal communication and your body language during the interview.  (i.e. Is the company super-professional or are they more laid-back  or family oriented)

It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.  Read more on Making a Great First Impression


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Denison, TX-Paris, TX
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