MILLEDGEVILLE — For three days this month, John Milledge Academy seniors shadowed a real-world professional. The inaugural J-Term let students venture out into the local community and even up to Atlanta.
School counselor Mary Helen Edwards assisted with job placement. JMA teacher and J-Term coordinator Jessica Jones said putting seniors in the workforce opened some eyes.
Several confirmed their ideal profession, while others may reconsider.
The real day-to-day stuff isn’t as glossy as the image usually. Spending three six-hour days provides a great working environment feel.
“They can get that real world experience we want our students to have before they go out to college. I think a lot of our students are very jaded,” Jones said. “One day you can do anything, but to go back for two more days and have that same experience sheds a whole different light on it. I’d rather them learn that now than four years from now.”
Students shadowed sites including Oconee Regional Medical Center, Triumph Aerostructures, DeKalb County Fire and Rescue, insurance agencies, law firms and with the Georgia State Patrol.
J-Term participants took the activity seriously. They were expected to be punctual, professional and on task.
Life and business experience broadened horizons. Jones said the shadow days help develop other applicable life skills like professional interaction and resume building, not normally a high school academia focus.
Getting a high school student to understand the big picture is extremely important. Jones hopes for future program expansion.
Letting the seniors spend a week on the job or even travel abroad could be the next moves.
J-Term falls in line with JMA school improvement plans. Jones said faculty will continue finding ways to prep senior classes for life’s fast approaching phases.