Student shadows fall on local businesses

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It is not every day a teenager follows a sheriff’s deputy into a crime scene, but last month Cameron Lindsey did just that by shadowing the sheriff’s office. One of their stops was a burglary on the Cape. 

“Better than NCIS,” said Lindsey, one of seven students from Port St. Joe High School who took part in the Florida High School/High Tech of Gulf County’s 15th annual Career Shadowing Day April 21. 

Lindsey’s career goal is to be a law enforcement officer, and this is one of the first steps in reaching that goal. He had to pass a Level 2 Security Awareness Training Course before he could participate in the Career Shadowing. A certificate was presented at the lunch at Pepper’s Restaurant, with students and their mentors, that concluded the Career Shadowing Day.

All day the students had shadowed employees from local businesses and learned about the career options in Gulf County.

Wesley’s Electric Services mentored JT Mork who was put to work “pulling wire” for a commercial warehouse. Wesley is a senior who interned with Wesley’s last summer. He is eager to graduate and wants to work in the electrical field.  

One usually does not think of the Florida Park Service as having opportunities for history buffs or archivists, but Daylon Hunnings shadowed at the Centennial Museum and found the museum is a great place for someone who likes history. He was able to lead a tour in the morning in the museum. Joanna Lindsey was his mentor and is looking forward to his interning there this summer.

Several students shadowed in the childcare/youth field. Nigeria Russ, who has been working on her Child Care Certificate, spent the morning at The Methodist Learning Center. Nigeria said she “loves the babies” and has such a wonderful way of working with the little ones. Cody Combow will be working this summer in the summer camp sponsored by Career Source Gulf Coast at the Washington Gym. “It’s not all about playing, but planning is important, '' he discovered. In the morning he shadowed Lianna Sagins, and they prepared materials for the STEM experiments they will do this summer.

Beach Realty opened their doors to Jason Sandoval. He learned that a realtor does not just sell houses but must learn how to market them and work through mounds of paperwork. “Jason showed a house to potential buyers,” Sheryl Bradley said. “He was interested in all aspects of real estate.” Beach Realty took Sandoval to a new house, to the vault in the courthouse, and to Costin and Costin Law Office to experience all the skills and people that are needed in a real estate transaction.

How about books, books, books? LJ Brown worked with Mimi Minnick at Corinne Costin Gibson Memorial Public Library. He shelved books, scanned information, and discovered that he will be helping her with STEM classes this summer at the summer camp.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for the students and their wonderful mentors.

Florida High School High Tech of Gulf County is a program facilitated by the Dyslexia Research Institute and partially funded by The Able Trust and Vocational Rehabilitation, the Alfred I duPont Foundation, and the Murphy Family Foundation. Dr. Pat Hardman is the director. The program serves high school students at PSJHS and gives them opportunities to explore many career options and job opportunities through shadowing and paid internships.

Thanks to all the businesses and mentors who gave the HSHT students an opportunity to gain experience about the variety of career opportunities that they might have right here in PSJ. The students are preparing for the summer internships where different businesses will provide a job opportunity during the summer. The HSHT program pays the students a salary as the businesses have them engaged in work, just like any other employee. The students learn what it takes be a good employee and advance in different careers. 

Robyn A. Rennick is the program director of Florida High School High Tech of Gulf County. If you are interested in providing a work opportunity, please contact her at (850) 229-8989.

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