Draper Intermediate Students Prepare for Their Future
If variety is the spice of life, then Draper Intermediate School was extra spicy on March 7. Draper held a Patriots Pathways Day in which over 60 professionals from the DFW area provided career exploration sessions. Students chose their top four career interests from those represented and attended a 30 minute presentation by that professional. They were able to find out about what type of training is needed and ask questions of the speaker.
The 60 professionals included an accountant, Air Force photojournalist, Air Force pilot, architect, artist, auto body repair technician, chiropractor, church minister, coach, counselor, dancer, detective, electrical engineer, electrician, executive recruiter, federal investigator, film and video producer, firefighter/paramedic, flight attendant, florist, forensic investigator, game designer, high risk flight nurse, human resources, intensive care nurse, IT, librarian, loan officer, mayor, non-profit organization, pastry chef, photographer, physician’s assistant, principal, professional football player, professor, project manager, property manager, prosthetics, realtor, senior city planner, small business owner, software engineer, software tester, software sales director, surgery nurse, teacher, theater arts, trainer for flight attendants, trial lawyer, TV news reporter, veterinarian, vocalist and women in IT.
K. J. Williams was a professional football player. Williams played college football at Texas A&M and then for three NFL teams. He said he was nine years old when he decided he wanted to be a professional football player. He is currently a strength trainer. His advice to students interested in becoming a professional football player is to have a lot of energy and be excited. During his presentation he said, “Every day we are given the opportunity to set goals and achieve our goals. It will take blood, sweat and tears and extra hours of work. Don’t wait until you’re 15 or 16, set your goals now. People stop at good, you want to be great!”
Amy Bohn, a Murphy resident, is a pastry chef. During her presentation, she discussed various school subjects and how she uses that subject in her career. She said she is a self-taught chocolatier. She owns her own business and explained that as a business owner she does much more than make chocolate. She discussed healthy proponents of dark chocolate which include antioxidants. She gave the students a cocoa bean and sample of her truffle filling. She said her three children, who attend Wylie schools, are her taste testers.
Stacy Ihnken is married to Jason Ihnken, a math teacher at Draper. She is an American Airlines Flight Attendant Instructor. She has worked for American Airlines for 19 years and has been an instructor for six years. She said that American Airlines is a great place to work. She gave a brief history lesson of American Airlines, explained the job requirements to be a flight attendant, salary range and the perks of being a flight attendant such as flying free and great insurance.
Jason Ast is a preoperative nurse and surgery manager at Richardson Methodist Hospital. When he was 18 years old he decided to go into the healthcare profession. He enjoys being a nurse because it allows him to be involved with the patients. His favorite aspect of the job is orthopedics. He likes knowing that the patients leave the hospital better than when they arrived. He also said that being a nurse gives him job security. His advice to the students who want to be a nurse is to really listen when the teacher speaks, especially in science. He said it is important to set goals and then not give up on those goals.
In addition to the professional-led career sessions, students participated in classroom lessons and activities and then twenty different post-secondary institutions were on hand for a college/institution fair. Students had the opportunity to visit at least three different college tables as well as attend a thirty-minute presentation from a specific institution.
They ended their day reflecting on what they know, need to know, and can do as next steps to their pathway to success.