On the job: CHMS students shadow mentors

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Above, Jada Oates learned about food service at the Pig Cafe

Above, Jada Oates learned about food service at the Pig Cafe

More than 150 eighth-grade students at Charles Henderson Middle School in Troy participated in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day 2016 on Tuesday.

Job Shadow Day is observed annually on Feb. 2, which is Groundhog Day, the day on which Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his long winter’s nap to do some weather forecasting of his own.

While the groundhog is forecasting, thousands of workers all across the nation were providing opportunities for young people to “shadow” them for a day.

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Tiana McWhite, CHMS counselor, said job shadowing enables students to get an up-close look at what a “real job” is like and how the skills they learn in school can be put into action.

The students who participate in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day have the opportunity for hands-on learning and a one-day mentoring experience.

“February is Career and Technical Education Month so February is designated as the month to expose students to the careers and technical jobs that are open to them in our area,” McWhite said. “More than 50 companies in the Troy area participated. Some job sites had multiple ‘shadows.’ Troy Elementary School had 10 students to shadow there and the high school had four. Some job sites had only one or two.”

McWhite said the job placements were based on student interest.

“We tried to place students at a job site based on interest,” she said. “There were about 30 students who didn’t select a job location. I talked with those students to get an idea of a job site would be of interest or was suited to their abilities.”

McWhite said the goal of the Job Shadowing experience is for students to realize that, as they are getting older and progress in school, they should begin to think about the career choices that are available to them.

webCole Curtis at Southern Health Associates

“Eighth grade is not too early for them to begin thinking about their careers and to being on the career path,” she said. “Job Shadow Day is a part of the comprehensive school plan and a focus of Career and Technical Education Month.”

Ja’leik Cannon was one of the students who didn’t select a job site but was “okay” with job shadowing at Troy Animal Clinic.

“I hadn’t thought about being a veterinarian but I have two dogs and I like animals,” Cannon said. “I’ve learned a lot and I’ve been surprised that so many animals need to come to the vet.”

Dr. Robert Hawkins said Cannon was a trooper.

“He has watched several surgeries and he didn’t have to walk out,” Hawkins said. “He has seen a lot of what goes on at the clinic. We always enjoy having the kids and job shadowing is a good opportunity for them.”

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen has two shadows in the Probate Office, Caden Bryan and Jonathan Carter.

“Job shadowing is a chance for young students to actually see what a day in the life of a professional is like,” Allen said.

“I look at job shadowing as an opportunity for us, as well. I showed them all phases of what we do from making deposits to renewing car tags to record keeping. They also learned about election process and the role our office plays.”

Nautica Woods and Jamarius Collins job shadowed at The Messenger.


Woods is considering a job in graphic design and Collins was thinking he might want to be a reporter.

At day’s end, Woods said she realized that a lot more goes into getting a design the way it needs to be than she had thought. She is staying on her career path with the possibility of a fork that leads to law school. Collins, on the other hand, decided that he would be better suited for advertising.