MOREHEAD CITY — Their shadows may not have predicted the weather like Punxsutawney Phil, but a group of East Carteret High School students served as shadows themselves Tuesday.

As part of a job shadow program, the ECHS sophomores spent the day with employees at several county businesses.

From veterinary medicine at Mitchell Village Animal Hospital to hair styling at Hair Gallery, students discovered the ins and outs of their career interests.

“My hope is that the students will spend a day in their career choice and have a better understanding of what takes place with that job,” ECHS career and technical education instructor Pamela Roberson said. “They might hate it, but that is a good thing to know now before they spend thousands of dollars to further their education.”

With February marking Career and Technical Education Month and Sunday Groundhog Day, Ms. Roberson said it was a great time to hold the job shadow program.

The instructor added she targeted the sophomore class because it was an age when many students are beginning to seriously consider future careers.

“We wanted to focus on the younger students so if they found out the job they wanted wasn’t really something they enjoyed for the day, then they would have time to regroup in high school with regard to class options,” she said.

ECHS sophomore Christa Golden signed up for veterinary medicine and spent the day at Mitchell Village Animal Hospital in Morehead City with veterinarians Dr. Julianne Davis-Christ and Dr. Marci Godwin.

“I love animals and thought it would be a good idea to experience and see what they do,” Christa said.

Since both veterinarians were West Carteret High School graduates that returned to the county to open their practice, Christa said that encouraged her to enter the profession.

“I like knowing that I can come back and not go off somewhere else to work,” she said.

Sophomores Adeliya McDonald and Myleesia Taylor, on the other hand, were interested in hair styling. They spent the day at Hair Gallery in Morehead City with owner Cortney Herron.

Ms. Herron said she was excited to take the students under her wing because she is an ECHS graduate who did job shadowing while an eighth-grader at Smyrna Elementary School, now Down East Middle School.

“I thought how neat that I can do this since I did job shadowing myself,” Ms. Herron said.

Myleesia said she has always enjoyed doing hair and was excited to spend the day at the business.

“I do hair for my family and friends,” she said. “I’ve known since I was a little girl that I wanted to do this.”

Adeliya, too, said she was grateful for the experience at the business.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this, but I’ve been interested,” the student said. “I thought this would help me decide.”

Ms. Roberson said this was the second year she has offered the job shadowing program in February at her school. She had 24 students sign up this year.

Students signed up for a wide variety of careers, including detective, attorney, orthodontist, reporter, boatbuilder, teacher, chiropractor and insurance agent.

As well as hosting job shadow day to highlight Career and Technical Education Month, Ms. Roberson and other CTE teachers and directors did a presentation Tuesday night during the County Board of Education meeting to mark the occasion.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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