Students from Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School participating in the Florida High School/High Tech of Gulf County Club participated in the 11th Annual Career Shadowing Day on April 3. Eight students shadowed employees from local businesses and learned about the businesses’ career field.

Aaliyah Morrison and Kelly Houk shadowed Jessica Swindall at the Florida Coastal Conservancy. They learned about all of the different efforts and activities that are needed to work with the turtles and other coastal animals.

The Humane Society hosted Nick Ward, James Gliem and Chassidy Burrell. During the luncheon after the shadowing, Nick reported that, “I was surprised at the medical tests that have to be done as each animal comes in to the shelter.”

For the 11th year in a row, Consolidated Communications (formerly FairPoint) mentored a student. Susan Machemer, Human Relations Director at Consolidated, said, “We see such changes and maturing happening with these students as they engage in activities like the Career Shadowing Day and Summer Internships.”

Leondra Leslie was initially a little hesitant to go by herself, but she came to the luncheon full of smiles.

As a first time Career Shadowing mentor, Sheryl Bradley of Beach Realty said that she would definitely do it again. Joseph Cunningham had a great time.

“I have been interested in real estate for several years and this really gave me a chance to see what it is all about,” he said.

Capital City Bank hosted Hunter Vandertulip who is interested in finance. He enjoyed talking with the personal bankers and watching all of the activities of the bank.

The group ended the Career Shadowing day with a delicious lunch at the Sunset Coastal Grill with their mentors and a number of their parents.

Florida High School High Tech of Gulf County is a program facilitated by the Dyslexia Research Institute and partially funded by The Able Trust and Vocational Rehabilitation. Dr. Pat Hardman is the director. Heather Gainous is the Activities Director. The program serves high school students at PSJHS who have disabilities but have great potential for entering the work force on many different levels. The program gives them opportunities to explore many career options.

Thanks to all the businesses and mentors who gave the HSHT students an opportunity to learn about the variety of career opportunities that they might have right here in PSJ. The students are preparing for the Summer Internships where different businesses will provide a job opportunity during the summer. The HSHT program pays the students a salary as the businesses have them engaged in work, just like any other employee. The students learn what it takes be a good employee and advance in different careers. If you are interested in providing a work opportunity, please contact Heather Gainous at 229-7799.