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By Deidre Williams
News Staff Reporter
The Career Fair hosted by the African-American Cultural Center and students from Buffalo State College was so successful the first time that organizers are doing it again.
First presented last April, the free event is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave.
Like the first one, which about 80 people attended, Thursday’s fair is for both young people and adults and will feature information in the fields of culinary arts, marketing, family and consumer sciences, cosmetology, building trades and more.
Organizers hope to get at least 200 attendees this time but also acknowledge “realistically, we might get 100,” said Tammy L. Gaines, a Buffalo State alumna and Cultural Center administrative assistant who coordinated both events.
“Our focus is the youth, but we also can enlighten an adult who doesn’t have a career in mind. Some people are 30-plus years old and still don’t have a solid career. This gives them information to look at different options,” Grimes said.
Thirteen-year-old Desiray Slaughter is one of the young people who attended the April fair and plans to go to the one this week.
A fan of the “Cake Boss” reality television series on the TLC cable network, Desiray plans to check out the culinary arts section at the career fair.
“I like baking. I cook with my sister,” said Desiray, an eighth-grader at Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts who is involved in Cultural Center activities such as its after-school program.
She wants to be a cosmetologist or a lawyer when she grows up, and at the April event, the field of cosmetology caught her attention.
“It looked real interesting. They showed us hair-braiding, and we painted acrylic nails on a stick,” she said. “I really liked it.”
About 20 students – undergraduate and graduate – from Buffalo State’s career and technical education department will be the presenters at the career fair, said Gaines, who is currently enrolled in a master’s program at the college.
“They will be doing the hands-on activities to help [participants] learn about the different careers,” she said. “It’s like a mini-lesson.”
In addition, the students will be returning to the Cultural Center a couple of weeks after the fair just to mentor the kids enrolled at the AACC.
The center is a nonprofit cultural arts performance and education agency founded in 1958. Its core mission is to promote, sponsor and develop programs and services that show an appreciation of African-American heritage and to enhance social behavior among African-American youth through training in the arts.
The career fair is free and open to the public. For information, contact the center at 884-2013 or africancultural350@gmail.com.

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