MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
More than 30 Matthew C. Perry High School students participated in the annual Advancement Via Individual Determination Job Shadow Day here May 27.
Students enrolled in the AVID program are tasked with working hard throughout the school year, taking on rigorous curriculum and learning vital organizational skills in order to prepare for college.
“AVID challenges them to take on a higher level, to take on harder courses and we support them through that process,” said Shirley Cottle, AVID coordinator. “AVID is a college preparatory program that teaches children how to succeed first in high school, and the hope is that those habits carry on in college.”
Luckily for the students at M.C. Perry High School, it’s not all about work and no fun. Students were given a special assignment to shadow service members from different units and organizations aboard the air station as an opportunity to experience a specific occupational field.
“The students were given the opportunity to shadow a mentor in the community who has an interest or job skills similar to what they might want to do in their career,” said Cottle.
Students chose various occupational fields such as photography, journalism, law enforcement, electrical engineering, and firefighting.
Participating organizations provided mentors to the students from such units as Combat Camera, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, the Provost Marshal’s Office and the Robert M. Casey Medical and Dental Clinic. Upon completion of the assignment, students turned in a questionnaire with questions for their mentors about the professional and personal aspects of their jobs.
The questionnaire was intended to collect information such as the length of training and type of education required.
“There are all kinds of things to a career other than just the technical side and getting the training needed,” said Cottle. “It is not always about the mentor’s responsibilities, but whether they like it.”
Some questions were more personal: students collected information about positive and negative aspects of the job, the type of personality characteristics that would be helpful in such a field and whether the career field interested the students after experiencing an aspect of what it was like.
“Hopefully, from the experience the students will be able to determine whether they want to be in those job fields,” said Cottle. “Some students come back and say the job they chose is what they want to do and others come back and say that it wasn’t what they expected.”
Even though Job Shadow Day was coordinated for AVID students, the activity was open to all high school students to participate. Robin Morin, a senior from M.C. Perry, participated in the job shadow as an extra curricular activity.
“I’m a senior and at the point in my life where I don’t really know what I want to do,” said Morin. “This opportunity came up through my school so I decided to participate.”
Morin had a slight interest in becoming an emergency medical technician. During the morning, Morin shadowed Petty Officer 2nd Class Jessica McDurmon, leading petty officer of Urgent Care.
“She showed me where they do the minor medical procedures, supplies and how they operate,” said Morin.
Morin was also educated about urgent care procedures that involved rescuing patients, ambulance routes and how to treat patients.
“It looks like a lot of hard work, but I would definitely consider doing this job,” said Morin.