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Local students, businesses take part in Job Shadowing Day

While Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow last Friday, indicating six more weeks of winter, some Franklin County businesses and elected officials had shadows in their offices last Thursday morning.

The Franklin County Junior Leadership students, under the supervision of Franklin County Chamber of Commerce executive director Cassie Medley, took part in job shadowing last week. Students submitted jobs they might be interested in as careers, and Medley contacted local chamber members to see if they would participate.

Forty-two high school juniors from across Franklin County went out in the field last Thursday to learn more about potential careers.

“They gave options of professions they might be interested in as a career,” Medley said. “Very few of the businesses turned me down. We had really good participation from our business community for Job Shadowing Day.”

Kaylee Smith, a Russellville High School junior, spent her morning with Willodean Davis and Marty Vandiver at Davis Realty and Associates.

Smith, who is interested in real estate as a career, asked Vandiver questions about what he does as a realtor, and Davis and Vandiver included her in their efforts to find an Arizona resident a suitable home in Franklin County.

“I want to help people, and I think helping them find their first home or their forever home would be a great career,” Smith said. “I learned this morning that when you get your license you become certified as a realtor in several different agencies.”

Davis, who has participated in the Job Shadowing Day for several years, said she loves the opportunity to share her profession with local students.

“I just enjoy being with young people,” Davis said. “I let them go with me if we have reason to go out of the office. This morning we have a man from Arizona looking for a certain house. Marty and I are trying to tailor to his needs and find the appropriate house.”

Smith, who plans to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College after RHS, said Davis told her about a letter she received from a man who she helped find his first home when he was only 19.

“He told her it really changed his life, and that opened my eyes to how you can really help people in this job,” Smith said.

Davis told Smith being an effective realtor isn’t about how much you make—it’s about how you make people feel.

“That’s what this job is all about,” Davis said. “It’s not about money. It’s about the service you can provide to people.”

Junior leaders shadowed a variety of businesses, including Bowen Family Dentistry, Russellville Hospital, Family Pharmacy, Hometown Pharmacy and probate judge Barry Moore, who hosted RHS student Yaslin Perez and Red Bay junior Matthew Williams.

“I always appreciate the opportunity to do job shadowing,” Moore said. “It’s good to have these young men and ladies and show them what we do at the courthouse. They were very well mannered and asked good questions.

“It’s a good program that shows students what happens in businesses and professional offices.”

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