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Student making the most of Job Shadow Day

Posted: February 11, 2009 12:44 a.m.
Updated: February 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
As I approached the Hart District Office Feb. 4, my chest tightened with the kind of anxious excitement that comes with entering an unfamiliar place and not knowing what to expect.

As the day for job shadowing had come closer, I had pictured what it could be like, shadowing someone who was versed in the skills required for journalism. Would I be the only shadower? Would the person I was shadowing be nice?

In my daily routine, going to and from school, I carved a rut as I walked from class to class, striving to do well, but for what cause? Why did I want to excel?

It had become an unspoken expectation: Do well in high school, get into a decent college, go on to make money. This kind of daily striving toward a seemingly intangible goal ate away at some of us, and kept others going.

I was one of the people whose habit of toiling towards such a conceptual goal was slowly peeling away my motivation to do well. However, after participating in the 12th annual Job Shadow Day, my motivation has been reconstructed and is stronger than ever. Now I am actually working toward something palpable.

My own job shadowing experience was as rewarding and eye-opening as they come.

The public relations specialist who I shadowed, Pat Willett, was kind and informative, and she showed me that the skills associated with journalism are useful in a myriad of professions. We then drove to different job shadowing sites.

The first one was Timbuktu Studios, a dark, high-ceilinged photography studio where Tabitha Harikul (West Ranch), Hannah Russell (Hart), and Cynthia Lapos (Canyon) were shadowing the photographer Tracy Melchiori. Then we went to Flair Beauty College, a chic, bustling salon where Stephanie Moralis (Saugus), Katie Rosen (Saugus), Katherine Cassidy (Hart), Lucine Parsikhian (Golden Valley) and Kelly Resster (Valencia) were shadowing Angeles Palafox, a beautician.

Our last stop was Henry Mayo Hospital. Three boys, Matthew Earle (W. Ranch), Anthony Saygh (Canyon) and Hunter Bench (Canyon) were lucky enough to witness an outpatient surgery with Josh Sheren, the operating room nurse.

After we shadowed, the Santa Clarita School and Business Alliance, with the help of many sponsors, put on an impressive luncheon featuring inspirational speakers, as well as students' and mentors' positive accounts of their day.

Bright optimism and genuine excitement for the future swelled in the voices of the students as they generously disclosed descriptions of their days.

As a generation consumed by media, we have been conditioned to think that reality is harsh. Actually, a recurring theme in the students' speeches was surprise at the enjoyable nature of the reality they had observed that day. Two girls who shadowed at a detention center said, "it's not like the movies," describing how the prisoners actually treated the female Sheriff's deputies with respect.

As it continued, I saw that this luncheon was being carefully wrapped in kernels of truth as each new person spoke.

Marsha McLean, a mentor, described her love of the motivation she could see blossoming in all of us. Kristina Lee, (Canyon), learned that making a TV show is a serious team effort. Cassie of Golden Valley said she learned that to make a difference one must put others before oneself. Michaela (Hart) told of her discovery of the deep connections she saw being formed between teachers and students in elementary school.

All these facets of life discovered during Job Shadow Day may seem like clichés, but they are in reality truly valuable nuggets of information unearthed like gold among the rushing water pushing us towards the future.

Yvonne Eadon is a junior at Hart High school.

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