WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES - An aspiring investigative journalist, 17-year-old Terry Ayzman helps run a club called "Find Your Calling" at Taft Charter High School in Woodland Hills, because although he knows what he wants to pursue, many of his fellow students don't.
The club was founded by two students who graduated last year.
"They haven't had exposure. Many kids don't have internships. They don't have jobs. They don't have volunteering opportunities that they seize. This is the perfect place where we can invite people and then after the meetings they come up to them, they want they're phone numbers get a coffee and networking," said Ayzman, our ABC7 "Cool Kid."
Every Thursday, the club meets in a classroom at Taft during lunch and he interviews well-known professionals about their careers. Past guests include the founder of LegalZoom Robert Shapiro, Congressman Ted Lieu and our very own entertainment guru George Pennacchio.
"We don't listen to each other anymore. We have these preconceived notions and we don't have that human connection," said Ayzman. "Somebody can say something and before we even listen to them, you respond. And I listen to them. We talk, we have a really good conversation and the students really pick up on that."
The "Find Your Calling" club is open to every student at Taft. Principal Daniel Steiner said Ayzman's persistence and networking skills allow him to bring big-name guests to campus.
"Terry has tapped into his peers and asked them, 'What do you want to see? What are you interested in?' He's really good at getting information from people," Steiner said. "Not only the guest speakers, but the students, and finding what's interesting to them and packing the house every time."
Steiner said he's already talking with teachers and students to find someone to take over the "Find Your Calling" club from Ayzman once he graduates. He wants to make sure future students have a glimpse into the real world.