3/26/14 Students learn about careers
Karen Carter / Mebane Enterprise
With their teacher Chris Small (center), students gather in the computer lab at Woodlawn Middle School. They would be talking with a renown orthopedic surgeon, a “virtual visit,” through Skyping. More students would join them. Pictured are (l-r) Brian Corbett, Betty Baker, Louisa Seamster, Small, Jackson Hartley and Jacob Littell.
Middle school students dressed in business attire experienced first hand what it is like to pursue a career of their choice.
Over 400 eighth graders from Hawfields Middle School and Woodlawn Middle School participated in a career fair at Woodlawn last Friday, March 21. The school counselors from both schools organized the event, with huge support from the schools, businesses, and the community at large. Over 70 vendors were set up in the gym with representatives taking their time to talk with students about careers and what will make kids successful for the future.
“I’m telling them what a great field engineering is,” said Rob Countiss of AKG. “A lot of variety, a number of different roles, going anywhere in the country or the world.”
The career fair emphasized students becoming productive citizens and business leaders making careers at home attractive to students.
“A benefit of doing this fair is that it gives a company like AKG an opportunity to plant the seed,” said Countiss. “There’s a great company in their backyard. We have our best retention for people living and working in Alamance County.”
Countiss gave the following advice to students: Take challenging classes-honors and AP (Advanced Placement). Colleges look at extra-curricular activities (sports, clubs, volunteer work), said Countiss, things that make a student well-rounded. “I also told them they need communication skills; engineers have to be sales people. I talked about leadeship opportunities.”
James Chinnici and Robert Skipwith told students how they could have a career with the Highway Patrol. They said the students were interested in the equipment and the instruments as well as the specific requirements for the job.
Working with community outreach for Alamance Regional Medical Center, Rachel Marquez talked with students about a vocation with health care.
Marquez encouraged the eighth graders to stay in school, make good friends, make good choices.
“Everything you do now builds for college. You’re laying the foundation for 10 years from now.”
Marquez said one of the benefits of Alamance Regional being involved in the career fair is a love for the community. “We want our community to know we’re here for them.”
Michael Reaves explained how he got into the business of real estate.
Artist William Gattis said, “A brush and a canvas, God works through me. I’m telling the students to choose something you love and the money will follow. Work for a passion inside of you rather than for creditors.”
Representatives from the Alamance Barber Institute echoed Gattis’ thoughts and spoke with students about morale, ethics, a sense of professionalism, discipline, and motivation.
Giving back to the community, the Institute provides meals for Allied Churches once a week, said Frankie Matthews.
Another highlight came towards the end of the morning when a number of students gathered in the computer lab to hear world-renown orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brian Walters, from Andrews Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center in Alabama. He sent videos of doing surgery and Skyped with students for a “virtual visit” to talk about a career in sports medicine. Dr. Walters was just getting out of the operating room when his brother, Robert Walters, a seventh-grade science teacher at Woodlawn, and fellow teacher Chris Small, got everything going for the virtual visit.
Educators organizing the career from Hawfields and Woodlawn were Crystal Taylor, Kathy Dodson, Lisa Segars, Mike Kane, and Kathy Paramore.