Photograph by Marc Yanofsky

by Danica Cajigas



In an effort to inform students on potential career paths, Bonita Vista held its first “Career of the Month” session of the school year on Nov. 19 during fourth period in the cafeteria. This month, counselor Olga Castro invited three firefighters from the Chula Vista Fire Department Station 4 to speak to interested students.  

“I like bringing career fairs to students because I hear that there is a lot of need for them. A lot of kids will come back from universities telling me they wish there would have been more help with career paths. Kids need to know what is out there,” Castro said.

Probationary Fire Paramedic, a firefighter in their first year on the job, Shane D’Ambra, gave a presentation to students answering commonly asked questions about the firefighting occupation. D’Ambra explained his everyday routine and why he chose the path he followed to become a fire paramedic.  

“I became a firefighter not only because I wanted to help people, but [because] I just really enjoyed being around the people that do this type of job. To me, that was one of the most important things, having fun and having a good time while I was at work. Along with doing that, it gives me an opportunity to give back to the community, who is essentially who we are serving,” D’Ambra said.

D’Ambra also described his work experience in the three months he has worked at Station 4 so far.

“There’s so much more to learn than I ever thought because I used to work just as a paramedic and not as a firefighter. I did not realize the broad scope of the calls that we went on to respond to and just the general knowledge that you need to know to complete the job,” D’Ambra said.

Students that attended the session were informed of both the requirements for the job and a detailed job description. One topic that was stressed by D’Ambra was the importance of education in order to get a position within the fire department.

“It seemed like an interesting opportunity and I have considered being a firefighter for some time; they have a very honorable job. The main point that I was able to take is that even in firefighting, education is a huge portion of the job. And education, like for other jobs, can lead to huge promotions,” junior Lorea Ibarguren said.

Castro hopes to establish “Career of the Month” as a monthly event this school year. After having multiple guest speakers such as engineers, lawyers, and now firefighters, Castro looks forward to presenting doctors next month. In addition to hosting the “Career of the Month” events, Castro urges students to prepare for careers that they plan to pursue.

“When you are in college, maybe your second or third year, start looking for a job related to your major or start looking for an internship. A lot of kids go work at McDonald’s or at a store, but I think that it is important for them to start getting practice and what they’re going to do in the future. Networking, internships, and job shadowing are key,” Castro said.