P-CEP’s hidden gem: Park Career Center helps graduating students prepare for life after high school


Alyssa Perko

Career Center Coordinator Margaret Styes assists students Hailey Ricardi, Baakal Berhan and Kai Henkel with their Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests at P-CEP’s career center. May 12, 2022.

The Career Center at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (P-CEP) offers a wide ranging variety of helpful resources to benefit graduating students.

Transitioning into life after high school is a very stressful and confusing experience, from figuring out whether students want to continue their education, what career they want to go into, and so much more. Trying to plan the rest of their lives at age seventeen can be extremely hard for many people to decide.

At P-CEP students have a career center at Canton High School available to them, which provides resources for students in regards to how they can prepare for what they want to pursue once they’ve graduated.

That may mean going to college, going into trade schools, going directly into the workforce, or even entering the armed forces. Career centers in high schools offer aid and support to students in order to help them determine what is the right path for them.

“I really want to get the word out more to the students that continued education may not necessarily be what they want,” said Margaret Styes, Career Center Coordinator at Canton High School. “They may say, ‘Hey, I’m done with school. I just want to get into the working world.’ There are options for those kinds of kids too, and we can help them get on the right pathway for that.” 

Students can go into the career center at any time of the day to receive guidance, and can have any questions answered by Styes.

There are also times when Wayne Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESA) Counselor Lisa Sadikot comes to P-CEP as well.

“I give presentations about various career pathways, and I meet with seniors to show them resources for the careers they are contemplating. Together we put together their plan for life after high school,” Sadikot said. She continued to explain that she works side by side with Styes to put together opportunities for students at the schools.

Styes has put together multiple functions since returning back to school after the pandemic such as college visits, armed forces visits, and a career night that offered information about not only colleges but trade schools as well.

The Career Center doesn’t just offer help for life after high school, it also has resources for things such as part time jobs, summer programs and internships.

“The job opportunities list has opportunities for all ages. There’s also the summer pre-college programs,” Styes said. “Most summer programs will give them experience in the career, and in many cases they can also start earning some college credits while they’re still in high school.”

Although Styes runs the career center and puts the majority organizations (college, trade school, military) together, it must be overseen by Canton’s administration.

Sharida Lewis, the principal at Canton High School explained how the Career Center must be maintained, “As the administrator of this building, it is my job to oversee the [parapro] of the Career Center and make sure students are able to access information and resources about post secondary opportunities that include colleges, trade schools, military service, apprenticeships, employment and training programs.” 

She relayed that the Career Center has been a part of P-CEP’s campus for over 30 years, and although there used to be one in each school, the current career center has expanded and grown to include many more resources.

Although many students are unaware of all that the Career Center offers, the students who have sought out help from the Career Center have greatly benefited from the resources available there.

A current junior at Canton High School, Kaley VanSuch, spoke about visiting the Career Center for guidance regarding having struggles determining what she wants to focus on after high school.

“I have felt more comfortable knowing that I have it as a resource,” VanSuch said. “Navigating college options is daunting, and to be able to ask for help from someone other than a counselor is great. [The Career Center is] focused on what I really want to know about my future instead of just how to get through high school.”

VanSuch also commented on the help that the Career Center was able to provide for her. 

“It has supplied me with standardized test help, college meetings, contacts and real advice from people I trust. The Career Center has been becoming more and more helpful throughout the year and I just wish all this support was more available when I was a freshman,” VanSuch said.“It finally gives students what they need to be successful. In sports, trades, college or anything after high school.”