NEW MILFORD, N.J. — There was a tattoo artist. An official from the prosecutor's office. A pastry chef.
The common thread between all of the professionals gathered on the New Milford High School stage Tuesday morning was that they all followed their dreams.
This year's career day was organized by the high school's HypeLite club, a non-profit organization launched by NMHS graduate Will Esposito (2009) as a way to honor his friend and former peer, Alex Bridge, who was tragically shot and killed in 2013 when he was 22 years old.
The main mission behind the club is to connect anyone who loves what they do and wants to help students get in touch with their passion, and "Bridge the Gap" between their passion and their purpose.
"One of the first people I knew looking to do something big was Alex Bridge," said Esposito, a substitute teacher at the high school.
"One day I was listening as if he was talking to me and I could picture him saying in his voice, 'You have to keep it going. It's bigger than us.'
"It's about the students and the people we're trying to serve and the people we're trying to bridge."
Esposito felt it was important to feature a wide array of local professionals such as STL Apparel , Fair Lawn's Jay Hernandez and Oradell's Melissa Varjan — who are all passionate about their unconventional and successful careers.
The morning began with a meet-and-greet on the stage. The sophomore class was then split into two groups.
One remained in the auditorium for a panel discussion featuring a handful of the professionals, and the other took to the cafeteria to meet in small groups with people in the line of work that interests them.
Among the many highlights was a presentation from BMW Corporate employees that featured an actual car.