Nearly 100 Centralia seventh-grade students took the first step to taking responsibility for their future, Wednesday, April 17 at Chester Boren Middle School.
That was the day 98 seventh grade students participated in mock job interviews with representatives of 14 local businesses.
The event, in its second year, was organized by CBMS Counselor with help from CBMS Financial Fitness Teacher Tyler Forsee.
“This is a big opportunity for them to work on their communication skills in a formal or semi-formal situation,” Redington said. “I am gratified by the community support. We had 14 businesses participate. More wanted to, we had to send some away.”
She was also pleased, she said with the participation. “We only had one seventh-grade student not participate and that was because they were absent.”
The participating businesses included: Missouri Department of Corrections–Dan Redington; Jason Shackleford—law; Darren Adams–real estate; Callie Page–photography
Amy Hopkins—library; Dr. Brian Bostick: Boone County Mental Health Coalition–Jessica Burbridge; Kinkead Pharmacy–Mike Kinkead; University of Missouri Social Worker Practicum Student–Jordan Hargrove; Khal Saleh—military; Spirit Machinery– Harvey Million; Terri Motley who interviewed for 8th grade cadets.
Braxton Wasson was one of the students who participated.
The final student of the event, he interviewed with local attorney, Jason Shackleford.
They had a 10-minute conversational interview about law and the careers it offers.
When Shackelford asked Wasson what about the field of law interested him, Wasson promptly answered, “taking care of people.”
Shackelford upped the ante’ by asking Wasson: “If I were to tell you that in 10 years, artificial intelligence would replace 70 percent of the workforce in the legal profession, what would you say?”
Wasson told Shackelford he would “Keep the humans because they can go places and communicate with people where and when machines can’t.”
Shackleford then steered the interview to more down-to-earth, nuts and bolts topics.
When Wasson said he could not type, Shackleford firmly and gently encouraged him to learn. “I would encourage you to pursue learning to type,” he said. “Even if you and everybody else gets voice to text, you still have to type to edit it… No matter what job you get, you’re going to have to type sometime. Pick up the keyboard and learn it well.”
He also gave him another pointer.
“Read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’” by Dale Carnegie. “Read, and read it again regularly,” Shackleford said, “it will serve you well.”
As the interview rolled to a close, Wasson thanked him for his time, offered a firm handshake and left.
Shackleford, who interviewed five students during the afternoon portion of the event, said the students all made a positive impression and he saw value to the program.
“This is the right time to expose these students to possible career opportunities and options,” he said. He added that this type of program made it easier for the students to see the positive possibilities in their lives.
He said he brought up artificial intelligence with each student and was impressed how each student to some degree was aware of its possible impact on their economic future.
“I was very impressed,” he said, “especially with their etiquette and preparation. Each student asked me two or three good questions, many unique but all on point. Again, I was very impressed. These are some smart kids.”
Reflecting for a moment on how the students comported themselves, Shackelford said: “I am excited about where the school district is at. It seems to be headed in the right direction.”