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South Valley Journal

Copper Mountain students get taste for 'adulting' during Career Week

Dec 03, 2018 11:26AM ● By Jet Burnham

The Reality Town experience is provided to ninth-graders through Jordan School District’s Work-based Learning team. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Students at Copper Mountain Middle are only 12–15 years old, but they are on their way to becoming adults.

“You feel like it’s so long away,” said ninth-grader Peyton Bisquera. “But if you think about it, it’s just a couple years that we’re going to be in college and living on our own.”

Counselors at CMMS held a Career Week in October to get students thinking about their impending futures. On Oct. 25, students visited Reality Town, job shadowed at a career of their choice and learned about careers in the news business at an assembly.

“Hopefully, they will learn about a career that interests them and want to learn more,” said Teresa Bills, a counselor at CMMS. “Students who know what they want to be when they grow up have a goal that will help them focus as they progress in their education.”

Walker Hurren had the kind of experience counselors hoped students would during Career Week.

“I thought my dad’s work would be boring because he basically sits behind a desk all day, but I really liked it,” said Walker, who job-shadowed at an advertising agency. Walker said he felt comfortable in the office environment and was excited to recognize familiar math and graphing concepts during his dad’s daily tasks. Inspired by his eye-opening experience, Walker has begun taking an online advertising course to prepare him for a future job.

Many other eighth-graders job shadowed family members to learn how their interests and abilities can be applied to a career.

Zoe Tidwell discovered that she liked the environment of her aunt’s hair salon.

“I at least know now that I like socializing with people,” she said. “I don’t like being in a confined space; I like to be on my feet and be with other people.”

She was also surprised to realize she already understands the chemistry stylists use to formulate perm solutions and hair dyes.

“It was exactly what I’m learning in science so it was a cool connection,” said Zoe, who loves science.

Maggie Featherstone shadowed her aunt, a real estate agent, and spent the day chatting with clients.

“I love talking,” said Maggie. “I think this helped me to get to know what I’m interested in. I want a job where I can talk and a job that helps people.”

Rachel Kinikini had a similar experience at a health clinic, shadowing her mom last year.

“It really confirmed to me that, even though I don’t know what I want to do yet, I want to help people,” she said.

Zoe said the focus on careers from college and career awareness classes, and Career Week activities helped her realize the choices she makes now affect her future.

“It’s what you do now—all the clubs you go into, all the volunteering work that you do—that gets you into these jobs,” she said.

Claire Hyer is already preparing for her dream job of a stay-at-home mom.

“When I babysit, I find so many techniques that you use with kids, so I think that will help me be a better mom when I’m older,” said Claire, who is a big fan of reverse psychology.

While eighth-graders were out in the workforce, ninth-graders participated in a Reality Town, and seventh-graders attended a careers assembly.

“These types of experiences give students an opportunity to get a taste of what their future could be like,” said Bills.

In Reality Town, ninth-graders were assigned a career and income (based on their GPA), then made purchases such as a house, cars, groceries, insurance and entertainment packages without running out of money.

“This helps me understand better how much things actually do cost,” said ninth-grader Peyton Adams. “It gives me a better sense of what adult life would be like.”

Career Week also offered lunchtime games and activities encouraging students to plan for their futures now.

“If we keep doing planning stuff like this, I think it’ll really help us prepare and be ready to face being an adult when it comes,” said Isaac Wardle, a ninth-grader who wants to be a surgeon.

Seventh-graders take required courses in college and career awareness and have a few assemblies each year to expose them to various career options.

Seventh-graders Easton Jettie and Grace Flinn are both interested in becoming reporters. At an assembly given by KSL’s morning news team, they learned about the variety of job opportunities at a news station. They were surprised to learn how early some have to wake up to cover the news.

Seventh-grader Addison Freeland doesn’t know what career she will choose but said school activities and classes have provided her with more options to consider.