03/25/04 — The 'shadows' know a little more about careers

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The 'shadows' know a little more about careers

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on March 25, 2004 2:02 PM

Wayne County high school students had the chance Wednesday to witness firsthand the careers they might pursue one day.

"All of these are going to demand of you more education, more discipline and more time," said Dianne Riley, director of alumni relations at Mount Olive College. She was speaking to 84 students who participated in the annual Youth in Government and Business Day, sponsored by Wayne County 4-H and the Exchange Club of Goldsboro.

Career development coordinators in Wayne County schools matched the students with representatives from over 40 different employers, including the school system, the court system, the Sheriff's Office and businesses.

Employers met the students at the Wayne Center and took them back to their work place. The students spent part of the day observing and then everyone returned to the center for lunch.

Ms. Riley said the students expressed interest in careers in the medical and legal fields, education, science, music and many others.

She encouraged them to take charge of their lives by identifying their goals and dedicating themselves to achieving them.

"Make that strong commitment to reach your potential," she said. "If it is going to happen, it is up to you."

Jonathan Stutts participated for the third time in the event and said the students seemed even more motivated this year to learn about careers.

"The kids really care about their future," said Stutts.

He spent his day at Goldsboro Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Inc. He found out what education requirements are needed for a job in that profession and what a normal day entails. He spent about two hours observing rehabilitation programs in the gym. He said the experience was inspiring.

At Wayne Memorial Hospital, 20 students interested in the health profession were assigned to work with staff members. Areas ranged from administration to surgery, pediatrics, and the lab.

Brandon Grandy, a Southern Wayne High School junior, wants to be a surgeon. He was assigned to shadow Amanda Sarvis, a registered nurse in the surgical department.

"I really want to help people," Brandon said. "This is preparing me for what that will be like."

Avon Little, also a junior at Southern Wayne, wants to one day work in surgery or emergency medicine. She was recently an outpatient at the hospital, receiving physical therapy services. On Wednesday, she was assigned to Tish Lippencott, a physical therapist in rehab services.

Spring Creek High School senior Rita Sweet has had several opportunities to observe at the hospital through a nurse training program she is involved in at school. She had wanted to be a doctor but has decided she will pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist.

"It seems like the perfect job," she said. "There's a demand and not too many years of school."

She said the job shadowing experience was beneficial.

"This is helping me decide that, yes, I definitely want to do this," she said.

Howard F. Scott, county extension director, said around 1,400 young people have gone through the program, which began in 1987.

The students will write a 250-word essay about their experiences and whether the event helped them decide if the career was right for them. The essays will be judged by the Goldsboro Exchange Club, and the writers of the top three essays will receive a cash prize and plaque.