FLOC’s Scholars in the Workplace program aims to provide our students with critical career exposure to help them identify possible areas of interest, meet successful professionals in a variety of career fields and give them the chance to experience different workplace environments. This year, high school Scholars visited several workplaces across the city. These visits first kicked off over spring break, with four enthusiastic 12th grade students being matched with three diverse workplaces in the city.
First, a young professional who works at the American Councils for International Education hosted Taylor at her office for an entire day. Taylor attended a department meeting, helped to prepare materials for an upcoming conference, and learned about possible career paths in the field of international education.
Later that week, a medical director at Sibley Memorial Hospital welcomed Kyla and Amen, two aspiring nurses, to shadow her and the nursing team in the Radiation Oncology Department. Throughout the day, Kyla and Amen witnessed patients receiving treatment and learned about the nursing profession from experienced staff. The interest and professionalism both students showed were praised and led them to be welcomed back to volunteer and enhance their resumes.
Third, a program coordinator and her colleagues at the World Resources Institute (WRI) hosted CJ for an afternoon to learn about the work of a global environmental research organization. CJ had the opportunity to meet with human resources staff to discuss his interests and improve his resume; he enjoyed the people and the work so much that he plans to apply for a summer internship.
The Scholars in the Workplace visits continued this summer when we matched another five students, all going into the 11th grade this fall, with both new and familiar workplaces.
Nick, who loves science and is interested in environmental issues, kicked off our summer placements at the World Resources Institute, where another project coordinator and her colleagues were eager to host a student at their organization. Like CJ, Nick had numerous meetings with enthusiastic staff to hear about their job responsibilities. Nick particularly enjoyed learning about the variety of careers at WRI and what it is like to work in an office environment.
Our second student to take advantage of a career exposure opportunity this summer was Ghelatia, who wants to one day be a pediatrician and a philosopher. A director at Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a child advocacy organization, coordinated an exciting day for Ghelatia: she spent the morning on Capitol Hill where she attended a hearing and met with representatives, and she spent the afternoon speaking with CDF staff about issues facing schools. As a result of the visit, Ghelatia found that her passion and principles were aligned with careers in this field.
While at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bigami was able to tour the Executive Directors Board Room and receive college and career advice from research analysts and program directors. Bigami’s time at the IMF allowed him to interview numerous professionals in the international finance profession and further increased his interest in international affairs.
Bianca and Berniece rounded up our summer with a visit to Sibley Memorial Hospital where they learned to read cat scans, MRI’s, and had an intro course to human anatomy. They toured the Radiation Oncology Department and held informational interviews with numerous doctors and medical professionals. They walked away excited at the opportunity to volunteer in fall and more enthusiastic about becoming doctors.
Before these Scholars go off to pursue higher education, their workplace shadow experiences showed them just what, why, and how a postsecondary degree will help them achieve career success.
(Jessie Garrett was a Scholars program instructor for the 2013-2014 school year.)