Southampton Middle School students research careers

Published 10:44 am Friday, October 17, 2014

Carol Wright with PDCCC Nursing talks about healthcare to Maddie Simmons, 13, Chloe Worrell, 13, and T.J. Britt, 13, over a practice dummy. -- CAIN MADDEN | THE TIDEWATER NEWS

Carol Wright with PDCCC Nursing talks about healthcare to Maddie Simmons, 13, Chloe Worrell, 13, and T.J. Britt, 13, over a practice dummy. — CAIN MADDEN | THE TIDEWATER NEWS

Southampton Middle School students have been encouraged this week to consider whatever future careers they desire. To spark their imagination or interests, the school invited professionals in business and industry to speak with the doctors, deputies and engineers of tomorrow.

The visit on Thursday was part of the school system’s participation in Virginia Career Week. The day before, community college and technical school representatives came to speak about higher education as a stepping stone to their future goals.

Neil Clark, the Extension Agent for forestry and natural resources in Southampton County, was among the guests yesterday. At his table, he had a few tools of the trade, such as a compass, hard hat and support block made of pressed wood along with maps and brochures about the many different possibilities of careers in the forestry industry.

“It’s good to talk to students…it’s a good time to get them thinking about careers,” Clark said.

Steven Eure and Angela McClenny, both eighth-graders, were among those who listened and asked questions of him.

Afterward, Eure said he’s still looking at different careers.

McClenny has more artistic aspirations.

“I just like drawing and everything, including sculpting. It’s just something I like to do,” she said.

Nearby, Southampton Deputy Keith Rose attracted attention to his work by having students shoot hoops without and with googles that simulate the vision of a drunk driver. This was done to demonstrate an effect that alcohol has on people, and also what law enforcement must sometimes deal with on the job.

Carol Wright, RN, with Paul D. Camp Community College, brought in a mannequin dressed as patient that can cough and wheeze.

Tanejah May and Kasonte Ellerbe, both sixth-graders, took turns wearing a stethoscope to hear the simulated heartbeat.

May, 11, said she wants to be a doctor, and credits her mother, who has had heart surgery. Ellerbe, 11, has the same goal.

“I want to be a doctor because I love working with people, and it would be interested to work with different patients in a hospital,” she said.

Wright said later that she remembered those girls and added that she has a feeling they could indeed become doctors. She noted how they asked questions of her and were serious about what they doing with the mannequin.

Jada Lynch said she wants to be a different kind of doctor: a veterinarian.

“I love animals,” Lynch said, and added she has as Pekingese named Precious.

The Virginia Department of Transportation set up a table, and Shelley Bogue and Kenny Wynne were there to talk about career possibilities.

Bogue said they are both in VDOT’s two-year Core Development Program, and will graduate in June.

They’ve each been rotating in different departments to learn, and will get a specific position later. Bogue is interested in civil engineering and planning. Wynne is concentrating on location and design.

Strawn Darden and Curtis Boone, both 12, have more energetic pursuits in mind. They want to play professional football.

“I just like the physical part,” Boone said.

Cody Vaughan, 14, said he’s thinking about becoming a paleontologist, which is somebody who studies fossil animals such as dinosaurs. They’re something that he’s been interested in since he was a child.

“I still do. It’s stuck with me,” he said.