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Mark Aid, a fire inspector for the Combat Center Fire Department, teaches Katie Miller, an 18-year-old Yucca Valley High School student, how to properly handle a fire extinguisher during the Combat Center's 2010 Job Shadow Day March 4.

Photo by Cpl. Monica C. Erickson

Local students shadow Combat Center personnel, build path toward future

11 Mar 2010 | Cpl. Monica C. Erickson

The annual 2010 Job Shadow Day for Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High Schools brought 46 students to the Combat Center to observe installation personnel in more than 20 technical fields March 4.

The children arrived at the Officers’ Club at 9 a.m., where they teamed up with their sponsors.

“Bringing the children to the base is one of the best choices because a lot of these kids have ties to the base and feel comfortable here,” said Lori Cosgriff, a job coach developer with Twentynine Palms High School who helped set up the tour. “The children tell us what they are interested in, and then we find that job [aboard the installation]. It is wonderful because any career description we can think of is here.”

A few of the careers the children were interested in included: auto mechanic, business, computer programming, law enforcement, firefighter and emergency medical technician. One of the more popular locations that hosted students was the Twentynine Palms Veterinary Services clinic.

“We ran clinics this morning, so our children got to see us administering vaccines and conducting heartworm tests,” said Army Capt. Amy Clark, the officer in charge of the clinic, and an Anchorage, Alaska native. “They had a lot of good questions regarding their next step in this career, and what they need to do to become a veterinarian.”

Many of the students received a hands-on experience with their specified career. The children interested in law enforcement and the veterinarian clinic were able to watch a canine demonstration, and the students who visited with the Combat Center Fire Department had the chance to put out a fire, run an obstacle course and use a high-pressure hose.

“I have learned so much in one day,” said Cody Nash, an 18-year-old Yucca Valley High School student, and Joshua Tree, Calif., native, who visited the fire department. “I feel really enthusiastic and more secure in what I want to do.”

Katie Miller, an 18-year-old Yucca Valley High School student, and Yucca Valley, Calif., native, who visited with the fire department, agreed with Nash, saying she really wants to become a firefighter, and visiting with the installation’s fire department really helped her make up her mind.

“When students visit during the job shadow, they get a little taste of what they want to do,” said Cosgriff, a Twentynine Palms, native. “If they decide they don’t like it, then they have the time to find something else before they are in college.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms