CHS holds Career Speakers Series


The CHS College and Career Center hosted presentations from Feb. 6 through April 12, inviting local professionals to introduce students to careers ranging from advertising and marketing to beauty and healthcare. 

The series was organized by College and Career Counselors Robin Lutsky and Nancy Yumkas in an effort to introduce students to new career pathways and opportunities.

“We’re getting great feedback from the speakers, we’re getting great feedback from the parents and we’re getting great feedback from the students,” said Yumkas. “What’s good about this is it can repeat every year.” 

While some students attended presentations to receive extra credit in a class, others found real opportunities to network and gain experience. For example, Dr. Salvador Plasencia from Malibu Canyon Urgent Care offered students an opportunity to shadow him. At the end of every presentation, guest speakers distributed contact information in an effort to encourage students to reach out. 

According to Lutsky, the program was first created by the district’s Career Tech Community Board in 2020, but the pandemic halted plans to continue, and the Career Tech Community Board was dismantled. Post-COVID, the District Office reached out to CHS to pursue reinstituting the program, and the College and Career Center worked with the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce to bring in community members as speakers, with help from CHS parents.

“After COVID, [the program] got resurrected,” said Lutsky. “Parent involvement was just a happy byproduct.” 

With overwhelming support from both parents and students, the program was implemented from February through April. However, considering the variety of community members involved, it hasn’t been without its setbacks. 

“We try to schedule around the speaker’s availability,” said Lutsky. “This often leads to times that are inconvenient or undesirable for students, such as the 8:30-9:15 p.m. Real Estate presentation on Monday, March 20.”

Particularly considering the many paths that exist from school to college and the workplace, the program was intended to enlighten students on potential career opportunities and fill in gaps that traditional education may not address. 

“We’re finding [the journey is] not always a straight line,” said Yumkas.