Volunteering at Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Job Fair

“Careers in Writing and Public Speaking” Booth


On June 5th I was a volunteer at the Pascua Yaqui Youth Career Academy Mock Job Fair, in Tucson, Arizona, a yearly event that benefit tribal high school juniors and seniors.

The students profit from the job fair by:

1) Obtaining real world advice on successful interviewing;

2) Expanding horizons and knowledge of career options;

3) Networking with business community members and leaders; and

4) Learning how to get hired for future jobs.


In the morning, I conducted practice interviews with the students and provided feedback and critiques of their interview responses and resumes. A common error in the interviews occurred when they answered the question, “What is one weakness that you have?” Many students answered “I have trouble getting up in the morning.”

I responded, “That is not a good answer. You can talk about a weakness, but you must also add something positive too. For example, “I have trouble getting up in the morning, but I am getting better because now I go to bed earlier and set my alarm clock to make sure that I get up.” This way, the interviewer is left with a positive, rather than a negative impression of the applicant.

Job Fair Booth

In the afternoon, I manned a booth in the Job Fair where I talked to students about careers in writing and public speaking. I had copies of each of my four books for them to look at and I had a stack of free Toastmasters Magazine, for those interested in learning about public speaking.

To each group that visited my table, I emphasized that operating your own business, be it authoring books/speaking, or any other business, requires fortitude. With tongue in cheek, I said, “three-and-a-half-titude is not enough. It has to be fortitude!”

The unvarnished truth is that if you don’t write books or make speeches, you don’t get paid. It’s up to you to light a fire under yourself and take the initiative.

An Illustrative Story

In the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, the master storyteller himself, I told each group a story to illustrate my point. I said:

A man was praying to God one day. He said, “God, let me win the lottery. I need the money.”

A week passed and no response came. The man prayed again, “God, I really need some money. Please, help me win the lottery.”

Another week passes and still no response. The man said, “God, what’s going on up there? Why aren’t you helping me?”

A booming voice came down from heaven and said, “Work with me. Buy a lottery ticket.”

Overall, I was greatly inspired by the students’ preparation for the event and their professional behavior. Each student shook my hand, asked intelligent questions and thanked me for participating. Many of them had high aspirations.  I was pleased to be able to play at least a small part in helping them to reach their goals.

Upcoming Presentations

Sept. 8, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.

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