WEB EXCLUSIVE: School kids get taste of GW life

Shavonne Stoney, the newest member of the Office of Community Service, started work on Monday. She dove right in posting fliers at the Judicial Service Office and creating numerous e-mails. By the way, Stoney is only nine years old.

Stoney was among 31 third-graders from the Davis Elementary School who followed GW administrators during Groundhog Job Shadow Day Monday. The Student Activities Center, Student Association and Office of Community Service organized the day to give the students a taste of higher education.

“It gives elementary school students a chance to see what college is like,” said Stacy Blumenthal, Neighbors Project Coordinator.

The students paired off with 30 different professionals, following them through a typical day’s work.

“I wish I could do it all over again,” said Diane Miller, assistant to the physical supervisor in the Budget, Finance and Personal Administration office. “I think (the shadow day experience) will stay with them as long as they live.”

Miller helped the students make a resume and talked about future plans.

Other students “shadowed” GW employees like University Police Department officers, Recreational Sports Directors and financial aid advisers to see a variety of career options.

The students spent three hours following their staff member around and then
returned to the Hippodrome, where they left their professionalism behind and finished the day off with a few games of bowling.

Many students said they enjoyed their day touring the campus, playing on the computers and, most of all, bowling.

Derron Yates, 8, said with a smile that he could not wait to come to college because it looks like a lot of fun and he looks forward “to getting his degree.”

This is the second year the Davis Elementary School has attended GW for Groundhog Job Shadow Day. The national program, which began in 1997, gives young people experience with different occupations as they follow around a professional for a day and learn what they learn in school are useful in the everyday world. The National Job Shadow Coalition coordinates the program.

Heather Benson, a faculty member at Davis, said responsible students who consistently complete their homework and come to school on time were among those teachers chose to take part in the program.

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