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Cottonwood Heights Journal

High school students tour, observe, gain hands-on opportunities during job shadows

Aug 02, 2022 10:13AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Throughout Canyons School District, high school students had the opportunity to job shadow professionals in several fields before summer hit, allowing them to learn more about the careers during the summer months, possibly find an internship or take a summer class.

“We had a lot of new businesses step forward and offer to have students job shadow them this year and we had three return businesses in a law office, a chiropractor and Larry H. Miller Companies,” said Chris Morgan, Corner Canyon High’s work-based learning facilitator. “This opportunity gave students more time to focus on their future and they have been so enthusiastic about their experience.”

Many of the job shadows happened on one morning, after which Morgan, as well as other high school work-base coordinators, hosted a luncheon for students at Corner Canyon to debrief and share their experiences. Some 22 students had spent the morning at area businesses to job shadow, and Morgan had scheduled another 20 for another day.

Senior Aidan Richmond shadowed a Draper City detective.

“I’ve always been interested in what they do at crime scenes, what a victim advocate does, the forensics surrounding cases and programs they offer,” he said. “I met the police chief and learned how he works with all sorts of people outside the department as well as within. The detective said they recently investigated and closed a cold case, and it was interesting to hear. It was very rewarding experience.”

During freshman Stella Cianflone’s visit with Dr. Blaine Awerkamp at Awerkamp Chiropractic, she oversaw his treatment of five patients and learned he treats people suffering from stress to car accidents.

“I’ve thought about going into the medical field, but I didn’t think about being a chiropractor,” she said. “It’s a good combination of medical and business, where I’d run my own business, set my own hours and have that flexibility, which I like.”

Senior Anna Page toured several departments in Lone Peak Hospital and also donned a hair net and shoe coverings to be in the operating room.

“They taught us basic CPR, chest compressions and lifesaving techniques we could do on a dummy, and we toured the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and used a stethoscope to hear a baby’s breathing pattern,” said the student who is on the pre-med pathway. “We saw the lab, pharmacy and a number of departments and it was great to see how they interacted with one another. It gave us an opportunity to see patient care and really solidified my wanting a career in medicine.”

After spending a morning with Conyers & Nix PC, criminal defense lawyers, junior Catalina Giraldo was excited.

“We got to see the court rooms, meet judges and ask questions and it was so amazing,” she said. “I’m taking a business law class, so this just inspired me.”

Junior Carlee Earnhart job shadowed at the neurorobotics lab at the University of Utah where she learned about prosthetics.

“They showed us what the prosthetics can do and said that they work continuously to upgrade their abilities,” she said. “I’m interested in the engineering and medical aspect and went to CTEC (Canyons Technical Education Center) in the medical forensics program and I’ve been on our robotics team two years, so this was an opportunity to learn more about this field and how engineering and medicine work together. It was just fascinating to be in their work environment and learn about it firsthand.”

Brighton High Work-Based Learning Facilitator Eileen Kasteler said that their research indicates high school students who make work-force connections are more likely to graduate and continue post-secondary education and training.

“This activity is designed to impress upon students the benefits of career exploration,” she said, adding that the goal for the 110 Canyons students who participated in job shadow day include discovering career opportunities, engaging in high school work-related classes, entering post-secondary education with career-oriented focus, developing important workforce connections and networks and being inspired while gaining real-world experiences.

Other companies that participated include Avalanche Studios, Cottonwood Heights Police Department, Ensign Engineers, Filevine, Hunt Electric, Jordan Valley School, Merit Medical, Savage Services and Think Architecture.