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Job shadowing program offers kids life lessons

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Learning how to write a résumé, apply for a job, dress for success, sit through an interview and deliver a strong handshake are all important lessons – for college and career.

A group of 24 sophomores from Manzano High School on Wednesday learned these lessons and more while shadowing banking employees at the Wells Fargo building downtown as part of Groundhog Job Shadow Week.

The kids are enrolled in Manzano’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program, or AVID for short. The intent, said AVID teacher Jeremy Vehar, is to get students to appreciate that these skills “will translate to a future career and any job setting.”

Groundhog Job Shadow Week is a partnership of Mission: Graduate, Junior Achievement of New Mexico, United Way of Central New Mexico and the Albuquerque Public Schools. The event is made possible through sponsorships by Wells Fargo, Lovelace Health System and AT&T.

In addition to Wells Fargo, 14 other businesses are sponsoring job shadowing opportunities for about 370 APS students this week.

Amy Milazzo, APS senior director of secondary education, called the job shadowing week a great opportunity for students to interact with professionals and receive hands-on learning.

“Our students can get actual feedback from an employer they may potentially work for in the future,” as well as receive real world perspective on the knowledge, skills and attitude needed for success in the world. The job shadowing opportunities also address the college and career readiness goals of APS and the other partners, Milazzo said.

Manzano student Condoleezza Johnston, 16, said she volunteered for the program “because I wanted something to challenge me and help me through high school and transition to college, and to learn how to better manage my time and balance school life with extracurricular activities.”

Although she does not think a career in banking is for her, the skills and information she is getting will hopefully benefit her as she pursues a job in the nursing field, she said.

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