Day of development

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Local students explored career paths in law, medicine, government, engineering, education and more through local businesses, industries and institutions in Vicksburg.

The Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg in combination with the Academy of Innovation sent 93 eighth grade students to job shadow at 18 different locations around Vicksburg during Career Development Day Wednesday.

“We are hoping this will help the students take their interests and abilities and observe how these are applied and translated into a career,” said Amy Campbell, Junior Auxiliary Career Development Project Chairman. “They have each specifically requested where they are wanting to go and Junior Auxiliary has done their best to make sure they have been placed accordingly.”

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Students looking to work in industry and engineering spent time at Ergon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District and the Engineering Research and Development Center. Other students interested in government were able to spend time in Mayor George Flagg’s office.

Those interested in law either visited Campbell and Edney Law Firm or the District Attorney’s office. Assistant District Attorney Bert Carraway showed three students around the Warren County Courthouse and introduced them to all the people who work in the DA’s office as well as the grand jury that was convened last week.

“We are asking questions about the job of being district attorney and we basically went through and were told how everything operates, and we got to meet a bunch of people who were really nice and told us about their jobs,” student Mary Parsons said.

She learned from Carraway that attorneys have to be patient, calm and focused. The message Faith Sanders took away from the experience is how the attorneys spend a lot of time going through each case and gathering information together correctly. While Jeannie Trest said she learned about law school and all the education needed to become a lawyer.

“They’ve asked me some good questions,” Carraway said.

The students chose to job shadow with the DA’s office because all three are planning to become lawyers. Each of the girls said they enjoy and excel at gathering information, proving their point and arguing, which they say will make them good attorneys. The field trip reaffirmed their aspirations.

Some students were interested in becoming educators and were able to observe classrooms at Dana Road and Redwood elementary schools, while others interested in careers with animals went to Petsense.

A group of seven students spent their day at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and were able to watch initial court appearances in justice court. The students were given a tour of the courthouse and the jail with Sheriff Martin Pace and Sgt. Vincent Woods and ended the day looking at patrol vehicles.

“I want to be a criminal profiler when I get older, and this is where they sent me here to get more information,” student Stephanie Sellars said, adding she learned a lot about her chosen profession. “This is actually what I really and truly want to do. It was really, really fun and I’m glad I got to do it.”

Pace was impressed with the group of students saying they asked good questions, were attentive and were able to answer his questions correctly, which is something he doesn’t always see. He also said he was pleased the Vicksburg Warren School District supported this endeavor for the students.

“Today reconfirms my faith and confidence in the children in our community as well as our school district,” Pace said. “It has been our privilege to set time aside to give them a tour of the sheriff’s office and the courts. I think it’s very important for students to have the opportunity to learn from real world experiences outside the classroom. They’re good kids. We’ve had fun.”

Teacher assistant Michael Dorsey said the students had a great time job shadowing at the sheriff’s office and was glad the students were able to meet so many people and witness actual court appearences.

“They’ve been exposed to everything today,” he said.

Most of the eighth grade students were interested in different areas of healthcare and visited offices from dentistry to optometry like Medical Associates of Vicksburg, MEA Vicksburg, Vicksburg Special Care Clinic, Helping Hands Pharmacy, Vicksburg Family Dental, The Bluffs Nursing Home, Riverbend Eye Care Clinic and Scott Robbins Physical Therapy.

Next semester another 96 eighth grade students from the Academy of Innovation will participate in Career Development Day.