Career Cafes

Thank you, Matt Clark, for speaking at our April Career Cafe. Matt discussed his path to success in the financial services industry and how he spent eight years in the army before beginning his financial career. Mr. Clark credits his military years for shaping him and preparing him for his next career. He is now a VP at PIMCO where he works with large, institutional investors such as government pension plans. Matt provided a broad overview of the financial services industry (what is it, why it exists, types of financial service careers, etc.) as well as great insight and advice about joining the military.
Click on the link below to view the discussion.


Thank you, Kelly Hoadley, for speaking at our March Career Cafe. Kelly is WHS parent and accomplished creative director who manages a team that creates national TV campaigns. Ms. Hoadley spoke about how art can lead to a rewarding and lucrative career. She also shared her non-traditional path to success and gave advice on pursuing careers in art, advertising and design.
Click HERE to view our Career Cafe with creative art director, Kelly Hoadley.


Thank you, Marcelo Figueroa, for speaking at our January Career Cafe. Marcelo shared how he turned his passion for game boards into a successful career. He gave excellent strategies for following your dreams and winning big in the career game, and he ended by giving away free board games to participants.
Click on the link below to view the discussion.
We are very grateful to Kim Drndarski, a pediatric physical therapist, who was our Career Cafe guest speaker in December. Kim gave us an inside look at her path to success as well as a very information presentation on careers in physical therapy.
Click on the link below to view the discussion.

We are very grateful to Mike Curtis, a Fire Captain with the OC Fire Department, for being our most recent Career Cafe speaker. Mike shared his non-traditional path to becoming a first responder. He also inspired the students and provided specific guidance on how to become a firefighter.
Click on the link below to view the discussion.


Huge THANK YOU to Zack Bartell, a WHS alum and thriving gym owner who came to talk to us on October 5th about his experiences. If you were not able to attend, see the video below for the complete presentation.

Video of Career Cafe with Zack Bartell



Career Cafes are a wonderful opportunity for students to start to understand and develop knowledge of career options that are open to them outside of the traditional 4 year college route. By introducing students to speakers who have forged successful and fulfilling careers via the routes of community college, technical or trade school or even straight to work, it is the hope that we can give those students more support and a vision for where their future could take them, and offer options other than 4 year colleges for those students interested in alternative paths.

Career Cafes for the fall of 2020 will be via Zoom. That opens our speaker selection to the world! We are always searching for speakers who have had a non-traditional path to their current success (meaning they didn’t go straight to a 4-year college, went to trade or technical school or didn’t go to college at all). Do you have a friend or family member who has a great job and is enthusiastic about talking about it? Can they spare an hour to get students excited about it too? Please check your contact list and connect us to those folks. Thank you, and also special thanks to Katie McEwen for setting up this amazing speaker series. So many students benefit from it.

We are always searching for speakers who can present to the students about a career they love and that they came to via a different route to the 4 year college route. If you would like to help give back to your community and offer the benefit of your knowledge and experience to the next generation of hard workers, we would be delighted to hear from you! Please email Katie McEwen at