LCPS students explore career paths through job shadowing program
North Lenoir High School students watch as Dr. Terry John Cheramie, Ashley Dawson and Dr. Katherine Myers perform surgical sterilizations at Riverbank Animal Hospital during Lenoir County Public Schools’ Job Shadowing Day on Tuesday. Photos by Laura Ashley Lamm / Neuse News
One day a month during the academic year, students are able to receive hands-on learning and real-life experiences outside the classroom as local businesses and organizations partner with Lenoir County Public Schools for job shadowing opportunities.
“Job shadowing provides our students with more opportunities for possible apprenticeships, internships and jobs right here in Lenoir County,” Jessica Shimer, career development coordinator for Lenoir County Public Schools, said. “From senior project ideas to mentoring to volunteering, our students can take this opportunity and make what they want to out of it,” she added.
The job shadowing program, under the umbrella of the Career and Technical Education Program (CTE), began 12 years ago and has continued to grow as more than 80 businesses and organizations in Lenoir County have opened their doors for students.
“Through job shadowing, students learn valuable lessons, see the responsibilities of the profession on a day-to-day basis, and decide a career pathway that is best for them,” Shimer said. “We’re also showing students there are job opportunities here, in Lenoir County, and our employers are able to meet potential employees.”
Juniors and seniors from Kinston High School, North Lenoir and South Lenoir are eligible to participate. On Tuesday, students were spent time with professionals at UNC Lenoir, White & Allen, Kinston Fire and Rescue and Riverbank Animal Hospital, to name a few.
North Lenoir students and junior volunteer firefighters Ethan Lane and Andrew Jones were able to receive CPR certification alongside Kinston firefighters, marking the first time students at a high school had received the certification alongside the fire department.
“This teaches us more skills we can use with our volunteer fire department and allows us to see how paid positions within a department work,” Lane, a volunteer with the Elroy Volunteer Fire Department, said. “We want to serve our communities and make a difference helping people the best way we can.”
Jones, a member of the Sandhill VFD, said, “This is helping me plan for my future career as a paid firefighter. It’s good to be able to get this kind of experience while I’m still young.”
Lane and Jones were able to take part in the daily routines of the firefighters in addition to CPR certification.
“This is a very exciting time for them and us. When students are able to come here and receive a positive experience that makes an impact, they go back to their schools bringing interest and awareness to their peers,” Kinston Fire Department Capt. William J. Barss III said. “These youth are the future of the fire department.”
Across town, students in Animal Science II at North Lenoir watched Dr. Katherine Myers and Dr. Terry John Cheramie complete surgical sterilizations on a dog and cat, respectively, at Riverbank Animal Hospital.
“In our Animal Science classes, we learn more about large animals such pigs and cows, but here, we are learning more about small animals,” Jared Howington said. “This is definitely a hands-on experience you get to remember as you are seeing things others don’t get to see.”
Fellow NL student Sa’Mya Brown said, “I like animals and I’m really glad we are able to job shadow. This is helping me figure out which career path is best for me.”
In addition to watching surgeries, students were able to ask questions about the professions, career paths of the surgical and vet technicians as well as veterinarians to better understand the field.
“We want to engage students in what they want to learn to help them better understand the field and the job possibilities available,” Ashley Dawson, surgical tech assistant at Riverbank, said.