May 28, 2024 | Harold Hare

Find Your Grind and Montgomery County Education Service Center Launch Lifestyle Fair

Dayton–Over 2,000 8th graders in Montgomery County, OH, gathered at the Dayton Convention Center this May to participate in Find Your Grind’s and Montgomery County Educational Service Center’s (MCESC) inaugural Lifestyle Fair. 

This collaboration, part of a strategic three-year initiative, aims to bring innovative learning experiences to over 75,000 Ohio middle and high school students, including the Find Your Grind Future Ready Curriculum, experiential experiences, and student scholarships. The fair was a major milestone in this partnership, providing an innovative platform for 2,000 students to explore their future career paths.

“Wow! What a transformational day! The MCESC/Find Your Grind Lifestyle Fair was an amazing experience for our 8th graders, igniting their passions and enhancing their self-awareness. This event broadened their horizons and deeply inspired them to pursue their dreams with greater confidence and understanding of their potential.”

Candice Sears, Director of Instructional Services, MCESC 

The Find Your Grind Lifestyle Fair is a revolutionary approach to supporting students in their future-self vision. Instead of focusing solely on job titles and descriptions, the Lifestyle Fair emphasizes understanding one’s lifestyle goals and aligning them with potential career paths. This innovative concept starts with the Find Your Grind Lifestyle Assessment, which helps students identify their top three lifestyles from a set of 16 distinct categories. This assessment provides students with a personalized understanding of their strengths, interests, and the types of environments where they thrive.

Find Your Grind and MCESC planned and executed the fair, working together to ensure its success. Local Dayton businesses and organizations played a crucial role by setting up activation stations aligned with the various lifestyle categories identified by the Lifestyle Assessment. These stations offered students hands-on experiences and practical insights into different careers, making the fair informative and engaging.

With various activations—from learning how to run a TV broadcast to understanding brand identity, exploring graphic design, learning from medical professionals, and learning how to podcast—students had various exploration points and gained knowledge about constantly evolving industries.

“I was an entertainer, analyzer, and organizer. I do like to make people laugh and just like to entertain other people! I enjoyed the stations and the motivational speaker. I thought both were really interesting. Find Your Grind is just finding what you’re passionate about and what would make you happy doing in life. Coming today helped learn more about jobs that would fulfill that” 

Joanna, 8th grade student

A thank you to our industry partners and volunteers who delivered engaging and impactful activation stations for students to immerse themselves in: 

ATSG/ATI/Airborne, Auditors’ Office, Beta Technologies, Black Box Improv Theater, Cleveland Clinic, Dayton Children’s Hospital, DO STEM *, Elevate K-12, Exhibit Concepts, FC Industries, GRILL, Hayley Spiro-Bauer (Learning Can Wait Podcast), Huntington Bank, Inspiring Adventures, Kettering Health Network, Leadership Immersion, MCESC HR , MCESC Instructional Services (PrismsVR), Jenny Haas Photography, MCESC SEL Team, Nearpod/Flocabulary (Lyrics Lab), Ohio Operating Engineers *, OVABC, Premier Health, Preschool Promise, Public Service Navigating Government & Helping People, MCESC SEL: Sensory Station (Reflection Station), Soundtrap/ Spotify, The Entrepreneur Center, The Good Neighbor House, The Modern College of Design, ThinkTV, TMobile for Education, Trutek Dance Co., Westside MakerSpace, Wright Patt Credit Union, Yaskawa. 

This experiential fair took self-discovery and career exploration to another level by engaging students with local Dayton industries, companies, colleges, and mentors through activations, motivational speakers, networking, and live panels. Unlike standard career fairs, the Find Your Grind Lifestyle Fair took a hands-on approach that reflects Find Your Grind’s mission of ensuring all students can navigate this rapidly changing world through a lifestyle-first approach and understanding that life is not what you want to be, but who you want to be! 

Tony Hoffman: The Power of Mentors

A highlight of the fair was the presence of motivational speaker Tony Hoffman. Known for his inspiring journey from addiction and incarceration to becoming a professional BMX racer, Olympic medalist, and influential public speaker, Tony Hoffman spoke to the core values of Find Your Grind. His story of overcoming adversity and finding purpose resonated deeply with the students, providing a powerful example of the impact of perseverance and self-discovery.

Tony’s presence underscored the importance of mentors, a key component of the Find Your Grind program

“I really liked listening to the speaker. He had a strong message and I definitely took some of his advice”

– Diana, 8th grade student 

“Hey Tony just want to let you know that you came to the Dayton Convention center in Dayton Ohio and your story changed my life. I have been struggling with depression. Thank you.” 

– Anonymous 

A Successful Step Towards Future Readiness

The Lifestyle Fair was a success, showcasing the power of innovative career exploration and meaningful partnerships. The fair provided students with a holistic view of their future possibilities by focusing on lifestyles rather than just careers. The collaboration with MCESC and the engagement of local businesses ensured that the event was impactful.

This event marked a significant step forward in the ongoing partnership between Find Your Grind and Montgomery County, highlighting the potential for future lifestyle fairs to expand further the reach and impact of the Future Ready Curriculum. To learn more about these opportunities, please connect with Find Your Grind. 

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