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Bluford Elementary Students Celebrate Careers in Public Transit

The next generation of SEPTA operators, engineers, conductors and mechanics just might come from Philadelphia's Universal Guion S. Bluford Charter School.

In celebration of the American Public Transit Association's (APTA) National Public Transportation Career Day, Bluford third through sixth grade students researched the variety of jobs available in transportation, as well as the importance of mass transit to the community, and created posters and essays to illustrate their findings. Through their work, students learned that it takes more than operators to "drive" the Authority every day.

Zaire Jones wrote of becoming a design engineer at SEPTA to "make a green bus that floats on water and has vents to keep people cool." Tim Young wrote of the qualities a diesel mechanic must possess, such as being "able to figure out the sources of the problem quickly and correctly" and "knowing automobiles very well."

To thank the students for their hard work, SEPTA representatives visited Bluford on May 12. Director of Recruitment Daniel Amspacher quizzed the students on SEPTA facts and answered their questions about job opportunities, requirements and salaries (proving that it is never too early to start thinking about the future). Pennsylvania State Representative Louise Bishop, Democratic Chair of the State Children and Youth Committee, spoke to the students, encouraging them to continue to do well in their studies.

Amspacher and Rochelle Culbreath, SEPTA Constituent Relations Coordinator, judged the posters and essays - a task that was not easy - and presented prizes, including passes to the Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Zoo and University of Pennsylvania Museum, for the top entries.

This third grade student's poster shows how SEPTA's Market Frankford Line transports passengers.

SEPTA's Dan Amspacher spoke to the Bluford students about the variety of careers available at the Authority.

The Bluford students actively participated in SEPTA's presentation.

SEPTA's Rochelle Culbreath (left) and Pennsylvania State Senator Louise Bishop (right) met with students after the presentation.