DARKE COUNTY — For Levi Fuller, a junior at Arcanum High School, it was an opportunity of a lifetime when he job shadowed at the Greenville Police Department on Wednesday.
Fuller spent the morning sharing a patrol vehicle with Joseph Wolfe, GPD patrol officer, who explained what to expect, look for, the basic ins and outs of patrolling city streets while answering any questions the student asked.
The junior has plans to enlist in basic training after graduation before attending a police academy. He wants to start small or “get his feet wet” by working as a police officer in a small community such as Arcanum.
Fuller was one of 150 students who participated in Junior Job Shadow Week thanks to the coordinated efforts between eight county schools, 40 area businesses, and Darke County Economic Development.
Similar to Fuller, Maggie Weiss jumped at the opportunity to job shadow at Family Health with interest in optometry. So far that day, she had been present during reading tests, dilation of the eyes, and awaiting the arrival of a patient with high blood pressure and glaucoma.
Weiss plans to train on the job with the healthcare provider coupled with online courses after she graduates from high school.
The future optometrist was not the only student at Family Health that day as she was joined by Laney Fourman, who shadowed nurses given her interest in the surgical field.
Likewise to her fellow juniors, Weiss has her continued training and education planned out after graduation. She already has chosen a college with an excellent surgical program and anticipates returning to the area for her future practice.
The key here is that all three students held an interest in either staying in the county as they pursued their career interest or returning after obtaining their degrees. Such is the goal of Darke County Economic Development — to not only keep students in the county but attract youth to work and raise their families here.
“There are opportunities right here,” said Tamala Marley, Workforce Specialist at Darke County Economic Development. She explained how the job shadow program allows students an opportunity to get out and see the jobs in the environment where those jobs exist, something that cannot be entirely replicated in the classroom.
“Students can gain employment out of high school while they train and continue to develop those skills,” continued Marley, who was pleased with the turnout given at least one student participated from all schools in the county.
As expressed by Fuller, Weiss, and Fourman, it was an opportunity to experience the jobs they are looking to pursue and recommend fellow students take advantage of the annual event.
“It was a great experience coming here,” said Weiss, stating it was an opportunity to get closer to “your goals and dreams.”
The three students also pointed out something to take into consideration — elimination. While job shadowing may further elicit interest, in some cases, it may showcase something a student would prefer not to pursue.
“It helps you choose where you want to go,” said Weiss. “Job shadowing will help you [but] if you don’t like it, you can job shadow something else.”
This year, according to Marley, area students had a menu of 105 local positions to choose from, allowing for about every interest imaginable to be experienced. She shared her thanks and gratitude to the participating employers as without them, “this wouldn’t be possible.”
Those employers participating in Junior Job Shadow Week were the following: Anthony Wayne, Arcanum Vet Service, BASF, Bolyard Heating & Air Conditioning, Brethren Retirement Community, Brumbaugh Construction, Bruns Animal Clinic, Burr-Oak Dental, CF Poeppleman – Pepcon, City of Greenville – Police & Fire Departments, Classic Carrier, Comprehensive Health, Darke County Municipal Court, Darke County Sheriff’s Department, Direct Tooling Concepts LLP, Dr. Steven Stentzel, Family Health, Fort Recovery Industries, Garbig & Schmidt LLC, Greenville National Bank, Greenville City Schools, Greenville Technology Inc., Hartzell Veterinary Service, HER Realty, JAFE Decorating, Lehman Chiropractic, Midmark Corporation, Mote & Associates, Norcold, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Oakley Place, Pohl Transportation, Ramco Electric Motors, Recovery & Wellness, Schultz Motors, Spirit Medical Transport, Village of Versailles, Voisard Tool, Wayne Healthcare.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.