Bradwell Institute students heard from working professionals Friday during the school’s annual Career Day.
Over 70 speakers representing a range of occupations participated in the event. Professionals came from places like Statesboro, Jesup and Savannah to talk to students and tell them what it’s like to work in their respective fields.
“This is our largest Career Day yet,” said Dr. Brandi Helton, BI guidance counselor. “We have several speakers that come every year from Savannah, as well as local speakers … They’re very willing to help.”
Dell Wood, a teacher at the Liberty County Pre-K Center, talked to students about working with young children.
“When you’re working with pre-K children, you’re more than a teacher,” she said. “You’re also a coach, a nurse and a parent.”
Wood also described the impressionable nature of young children, stating that the teachers have to model good behaviors that they want to students to emulate.
In another classroom, Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Michelle Ricketson and HDDA Main Street Coordinator Brooke Childers spoke about the organization’s mission and future plans.
To start the presentation, Ricketson asked the class to name five downtown businesses.
“Walmart?” one student ventured.
“No,” Ricketson replied.
After orientating the class with the downtown area, Ricketson explained how the HDDA seeks to create a unique identity for downtown Hinesville through “repetition of place,” noting the planning that went into everything from trees and streetlights to sidewalk design.
Ricketson and Childers then familiarized students with Bryant Commons and asked for input as to what they’d like to see in the park.
One student offered that he’d like a basketball court; another suggested a Crossfit-type workout area, with pull-up bars and a running track.
“Those are all good ideas,” Childers said, noting that the HDDA was considering such amenities for the park.
Ricketson also informed the students of the final Movie in the Park night, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 14. The HDDA will screen “The Blind Side,” in an event dubbed “Blues, BBQ and Blindside.”
She said that the gates will open at 6:30 p.m., with Smokin’ Good BBQ serving its locally-made barbecue. Local musician Mike Shaver will perform at 7, with the movie commencing at 7:30 p.m.
Toward the end of their presentation, Childers and Ricketson offered advice for students seeking to learn more about career fields they are interested in.
“The No. 1 thing I tell students at Career Day is, don’t say that you want to be a doctor without ever going and actually shadowing a doctor for a day, to see what it’s actually like,” Childers offered. “Before you go off to college and get started in a program or degree path, spend a day and try to shadow a local professional so you can see what they really do on a day-to-day basis.”
“I would tell you, no matter what career field you choose to pursue, it never hurts to work on your communication skills,” Ricketson added. “You never know when you’ll have to stand up in front of a group of people and speak, just like we’re doing here today.”