Published 3:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

Although rain clouds prevented shadows from falling on Pike County Wednesday, 30 eighth-grade students at Pike County High School saw foreshadowing of their futures.

The students participated in the job-shadowing event through the “Gear Up” program, which is funded by a federal grant awarded to Pike County High School.

JoAnna Kilpatrick, an administrator of the grant, said the grant is designed to prepare students for college or careers.

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“The main goal of Gear Up is to have more eighth-grade students going on to post-secondary education and to provide opportunities for them to discover different career options,” Kilpatrick said.

“Each month, we have a different event or program that is designed to meet the goals of the grant. The month of January offered job shadowing opportunities for the students.”

Kilpatrick said the students chose a business or career opportunity of interest to them and arrangements were made for them to job shadow in that particular area of interest.

“We attempted to place the students in the jobs in which that had the greatest interest,” Kilpatrick. “But for different reasons some of the students were not able to get their first job choice. But, each job placement was a learning experience.”

To learn more about their careers of interest, Kilpatrick said the students inquired about the requirements for the job, the salary scale and duties required. They were able to job shadow and see, first hand, what a day in the workplace was actually like.

“Ten of the students chose to job shadow teachers at Pike County High School,” Kilpatrick said. “We also had students who job shadowed at a grocery store, restaurant, bank, hardware, drug store, health care center and the City of Brundidge.”

Kilpatrick said some of the students found that they are well suited for their job of choice and others decided maybe that was not the career for them.

Deja Fisher is one of the students who is now considering a different career choice.

“I had wanted to job shadow at a medical clinic but that didn’t work out,” Fisher said. “So, I job shadowed at First National Bank and I’ve learned a lot. I learned about accounts, loans and about the technology of banking. It was all very interesting and I might consider careers in banking and in the medical field.”

Kilpatrick said from the eighth grade to graduation, and even into college, the students will probably consider many different career opportunities. The Gear Up program is designed to help them make the best career choice based on their interests and abilities.