Shadow Day gives students a taste of work

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ryan Ivacic
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Preparing high school students for the future can be difficult, at times even frustrating, but with programs such as Shadow Day preparation for the real world starts today.

More than 130 10th-grade students participated in Shadow Day Feb. 8 - 9. All four branches of service took part with 39 different military units volunteering to be mentors.

"Shadow Day is similar to the nationally run Career Day in the United States," said Regina Hendrixs, Kadena High School assistant principal.

"The idea is to give students the opportunity to follow people in various career fields they have an interest in pursuing," she said.

Students followed Air Force security forces members, combat controllers from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron, broadcast journalists from the American Forces Network and childcare providers from the child development program, amongst many others.

"It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved" said Ms. Hendrix. "Students got a chance to see if the jobs they thought were great were really the jobs for them.

"Sometimes students get the idea of what they want to do with their life and realize it's not as easy as they anticipated," she said.

"The best part of the day was meeting a former Kadena High school student who had joined the Air Force and returned to Okinawa," said Nisha McChesney, a Kadena High school sophomore.

According to the assistant principal, some students also found they wanted to pursue their dreams even more once they got a taste of their desired carrier field.

"The students were eager to do this again, and they had a wonderful time learning a lot about different career choices available to them," said Ms. Hendrix.

"If we can tap into the children's interests and strengths then we have a real opportunity to motivate as well as educate," she added.

Ms. Hendrix finished by saying, "They were doing things that were exciting and fun and relevant to them and their goals, so it turned into a winning situation and really showed the partnership between the school and the military community to work together to accomplish a common goal."