High school and college students throughout Scioto County had an opportunity to spend time in the workplace, thanks to a new collaborative mentorship program between the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and Shawnee State University.
High school students participated in the program through the ESC Gifted Services Department, and college students joined by enrolling in the Major Exploration and Career Planning course via Shawnee State University Career Services. The program helps place students into the workplace in fields they are interested in pursuing to give them an up-close look and an opportunity to learn from a local mentor.
Shawnee State University Career Advisor Austin Raines participated in a similar program while he was in high school, and even though he did not pursue the same field he still credited the experience for impacting his future career.
“This program’s influence on my life prompted me to bring the program out of retirement and collaborate with (ESC Gifted Services Director) Sharee Price, the original founder,” Raines said. “Our ultimate goal was for students to observe a typical day in the office with professionals who currently work in their fields of interest and find out about the training and background that prepared these individuals for their careers. Most of the students who participated are trying to decide if they want to go to college or a trade school and if so, what major and/or certification they need to pursue. This experience plays an integral part in helping them make these crucial life decisions.”
Students were placed with mentors at South Central Ohio ESC, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Shawnee Animal Clinic, The Counseling Center, Portsmouth City Police Department, and many more.
“I would like to especially thank Jenny Lavender, Director of Volunteer Services at SOMC for assisting us in placing so many of our students who were interested in the medical field”, said Price. “Austin and I would like to thank the students who took this experience seriously, and we greatly appreciate the employers who gave their time, knowledge, and experience to make this program successful. So far, we have received positive feedback from both the employers and students, which allows us to be optimistic for the future of this program,” Price said.
For more information about the Mentorship Program, visit the South Central Ohio ESC online at www.scoesc.org, or follow on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.