In times past, people would bring their children to the workplace on occasion to introduce them to what might become a lifelong career.
That mindset is still alive in Granite City. The Granite City Partnership for Excellence in Education held a ceremony at the high school atrium Jan. 27 to honor high school juniors and seniors participating in the 2015-2016 job shadowing program.
Student participants received an envelope of recognition and the opportunity to share their experiences at the center podium.
Program Coordinator Christie Moad said the program began in 1992 and has provided opportunities to more than 2,800 students. As of the evening of the ceremony, 79 current students have completed requirements for the program.
Among the students honored at the ceremony was Rebecca Bazzell, a junior who shadowed AdVantage News Dec. 9.
“Everyone at AdVantage was helpful and nice; they made me feel like I was helping and learning,” Bazzell says. “I got to jump around and get a feel for every job in the office.”
The months-long commitment to the program began in September with required informational meetings, four required workplace skills workshops, multi-page applications including parent signature, teacher recommendation, career research, personal statement, and exemplary attendance and GPA.
Professional interviews conducted by 14 members of the business and industry community, required paperwork providing parent support and permission, the job shadowing day itself and a completed program evaluation for each student rounds out the program.
The objectives of the Granite City Partnership for Excellence in Education include assisting students in making informed career choices, giving students the opportunity to experience and explore an occupation prior to making a career choice, preparing a more effectively developed work force and showing the rewards of volunteerism in the community.
Bazzell called her shadowing day at AdVantage News the “most gratifying experience” and the “best thing I could have possibly done.” Her first and second career choices listed for the program are education and social services, but she confirms that she’s “definitely going into news writing” as a combined result of her AdVantage experience and experience writing for Granite City High School’s student newspaper, Granite High World.
“My favorite part of the experience was seeing something I helped create in print and making new contacts,” Bazzell says. “I enjoyed the hard news and opinion-based pieces, but I really enjoyed all of the graphic design aspects of the paper.
“Overall, it was a wonderful and well-rounded experience. Everyone made me feel like I was part of the team. I recommend it to future students in the job shadowing program.”
The Granite City Partnership for Excellence in Education provided a “special thanks” to the Granite City High School staff for providing guidance and recommendations, the Granite City School District for allowing students to shadow educators, and education and business leaders for their collective commitment and involvement to making the program “work” for Granite City students.