Eighth grade students may not normally think about the types of careers they may have in the future, but educators at Ellerbe Middle School wanted to ensure that students had the opportunity to do just that. Students recently had the opportunity to explore a variety of careers that they might be interested in, as part of a special career week held at the school.
Eighth grade teachers Talia Swiney, Kelly Maree, Alison Wilson and Gene Shutt coordinated the week of events. Ellerbe Middle Counselor Meghann Barberousse was one of the speakers, and said she was appreciative of all of the community leaders who afforded students with the learning opportunity.
“Speakers were kind enough to donate this time and effort to support the eighth grade teachers of EMS in emphasizing the importance of early career exploration and the significance of education,” said Barberousse.
About 15 speakers discussed their careers with students. Cory Satterfield, principal of Richmond Senior High School; Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College; Keith Parsons, manager of Community One Bank; Jim Lambeth, co-owner of Triple L Farms; and Jed Lambeth, owner of Jedediah Chicken Farms, and several others from throughout Richmond County spoke at the event.
Jim Lambeth grew up in Ellerbe and was unaware of what he wanted to do until deciding to attend NC State University for forestry.
“My education was invaluable to my career,” Lambeth said. “It gave me the people skills needed to be successful.”
Lambeth also explained that he and his then college roommate, Steve Troxler, NC secretary of agriculture, often reminisce about their college days, during which they began to discover their passion for their future careers.
Satterfield also shared with students the importance of his education in his life. Satterfield attended Campbell University on a baseball scholarship, where he met his wife Pam.
“What you do today, tomorrow, and the next four years, stays with you for the rest of your life,” Satterfield said. “My job is to make sure that you all get through high school.”
Eighth grade student Charles Barrett said he appreciated the opportunity to hear from Satterfield and the other speakers.
“I enjoyed learning about all the different careers that are out there,” Barnett said. “Mr. Satterfield said that we get to look more closely at some careers when we get to high school.”
Ellerbe Middle School principal Melvin Ingram hopes the week of activities has a lasting impact on the students.
“It gave them an opportunity to look down the road at what is coming, and guide them to make good decisions,” Ingram said. “It also gave us an opportunity to expose them to some of the jobs they may not be aware of.”