In the Spotlight

Job Shadow Day: Eighth graders explore future career options

On the Morning of April 7th, more than 150 local businesses around the Upper Valley opened their doors to local students visiting for Job Shadow Day, an annual program facilitated by The Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership (UVBEP) in conjunction with thirteen local schools. Upwards of 700 eighth graders from over twenty towns were given a taste of the daily operations of a local business, helping them make the connection between the classroom and the future.

Since 2000, UVBEP has orchestrated Job Shadow Day, and each year the list of businesses willing to host, and schools wishing to participate, grows longer. What’s even more encouraging, each year the list of businesses hosting for consecutive years, whether it be their second, third, or tenth Job Shadow Day, grows longer as well.

The purpose of Job Shadow Day is to make the real world application of classroom learning more tangible, and to expose students to future career options just before they embark on their high school academic path. For a thirteen year old, relating the books in English class, or the equations in chemistry to the future can be difficult. As Job Shadow host Charles Barrett, the principal at Bradford Elementary School, notes, “they are looking for real life links to their life as middle school students and this experience provided a vital connection for them.”

Nancy Russell, a Job Shadow host from NH Legal Assistance in Claremont, considers hosting students a responsibility of the community, one that the Upper Valley seems to be taking quite seriously considering the high level of participation. “They are the future, plain and simple. It is up to us as adults to provide opportunities and role models they can emulate to build stronger communities, and in turn, stronger societies. You can certainly count on me for future participation.”

Whether visiting a veterinary clinic, mechanic shop, art museum, or biomedical lab, students appreciate the opportunity to get a glimpse at a job they may be interested in pursuing. “I really enjoyed spending my day at DCCCC,” reported an eighth grade student from Hartford Memorial Middle School who visited the Dartmouth College Child Care Center, “It gave me a lot to think about for a career in my future.” A student from South Royalton, who visited Sharon Health Center said of her visit, “I would definitely consider a career here. It’s what I want to do.”

Read more or contact UVBEP for details.

Read our other "In the Spotlight" articles!

back to top