GEAR UP College and Career Camp

Haywood County GEAR UP TN had about 21 uprising juniors participating in the GEAR UP College and Career Camp from May 23 to May 26. Students were taken to different job sites and a college to assist them in deciding on a career path after college.

The first day of camp took students to three different businesses and a college. The first visit, to Samantha Brown Photography studio, was where students learned the basics of being a photographer and starting a photography business. They learned how Samantha Brown began her business, the pros and challenges of being a professional photographer, the training one might acquire to improve photography skills, and the business aspect of the career.

Later, students visited the Brownsville Press, where Emily Carpenter and other employees of the paper explained their jobs and the education they needed to acquire those jobs. Next, they visited Drew Magruder at Brownsville Radio and heard Drew explain the business of being an on-air personality and Operations Manager at Brownsville Radio.

Then, students went on an official college tour of Lane College, where they saw classroom buildings, the Health Center, J. F. Lane Health Building, Chambers-McClure Academic Center, Water Tower Place, the practice football field, and some of the dorm buildings.

The second day of camp took students to Bass Pro at the Memphis Pyramid. Milton Howery, Bass Pro Pyramid Productions Manager, led the tour and explained the jobs of the artists who decorated the pyramid, sales, events, hospitality, animal care specialists, department managers, and other jobs within Bass Pro. Students dined in the pyramid and got a great view after riding the 28-story elevator to the top of the pyramid to see the Memphis skyline.

Students visited the Carl Perkins Center in Brownsville and the Memphis Agricenter on the third day of the camp. Beth Wilson, director of the Carl Perkins Center, talked about her educational background, her job responsibilities, and the work of the Carl Perkins Center and gave students a tour of the facilities, including the food pantry, clothes “closet,” boardroom, and other offices. Several students signed up to volunteer for community service at the end of the tour. Thanks, Beth Wilson, for telling us about the Carl Perkins Center. Tim Roberts, Director of Education/Extension Agent at the Agricenter, arranged a job site tour for students to learn about agricultural research, agricultural conservation, and the use of drones in agricultural and commercial use.

The last day of camp took students to Allegra Printing in Jackson, Tennessee, where they learned about commercial printing.

Students attending the camp said it was one of the best camps they ever attended and are looking forward to next year’s camp.The camp was led by Jackie Whitten, Haywood County GEAR UP TN Site Coordinator, and Haywood County teachers Xavier Clay, Rhonda Jones, and Vernon Mann.

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