ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Some local high school students got a sneak peek at potential career paths on Wednesday at an annual Rockford Public Schools event.

The 12th Annual Rockford Public Schools Academy Expo took place at the Indoor Sports Center, at 8800 E. Riverside Boulevard.

Over 2,000 high school freshmen spent the day going from booth to booth, learning about local businesses and organizations, to start thinking about what they might do for a career.

Bridget French, executive director of College and Career Readiness, said the goal of the expo is to inspire students by showing them the possibilities of work in the area.

“What this does is bring awareness to what kinds of jobs industries and companies are available to students in our area,” she said. “We don’t expect a student to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they’re 14 or 15. We just want to give them an opportunity to think about some opportunities for them that they might not know that exists in our region.”

One student said she was excited to explore jobs she had never considered before.

“I kind of had some booths in mind, but after going to a booth that I thought, like, I wasn’t going to like I might try something out of my comfort zone. being exposed to different careers, it kind of opened my mind to certain job choices I never thought I would be open to,” she said.

A teacher at East High School said she was looking forward to seeing the effect the expo had on her students each year.

“Our students are definitely really excited to be here. They’re taking a look at everything and they’re really taking it. And I’m really excited to see in the coming weeks how our students use that to start thinking about classes for next year and generating ideas for what they maybe want to go to school for or what they want to do after high school,” she said.

Organizers said the best thing for incoming freshmen is to come prepared with questions and to have an open mind.