Area students see future work as fun, not labor
Relax this Labor Day weekend and think back to the good old days.
Remember your childhood dreams; remember the way you thought things would be one day when you — finally — grew up.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it?
As children, goals and dreams are easy. We all, at some point, latched on to a career goal and daydreamed about how totally awesome that job would be. No one ever griped in your childhood dreams, the salary didn’t matter and there were no problems at work.
Maybe your dream lives on today, maybe it doesn’t. But through the eyes of children, the future is bright. Pause and let the aspirations of today’s youth drive you tomorrow.
Morgantown Elementary sixth grader Damira McGruder loves babies so much so she wants to make a career out of delivering them.
“I want to be an obstetrician,” McGruder said. “I think it will be exciting. I think it will be wonderful to watch the miracle of birth.”
An obstetrician’s job, McGruder knows, is to care for the mother and baby throughout the pregnancy, making sure both are healthy.
But McGruder did not just choose becoming an obstetrician as her ultimate career goal on a whim, she has done her research.
McGruder is part of the Natchez-Adams County School District’s SOAR gifted program and for her SOAR class, she was assigned to create a notebook outlining the career of her choice and the steps leading up to it.
The notebook charts the steps McGruder will need to take to become an obstetrician from which classes she will take in high school to tips for getting financial aid and choosing the right college, as well as the salary, job description and education requirements for an obstetrician.
“I’ve got it all planned out,” she said.
McGruder said she plans on working hard through school to be the valedictorian of her graduating class and get scholarships to pay for her dream school.
“I want to go to Harvard,” she said pointing to the school’s emblem, which is saved as the background on her iPad. “I even narrowed it down to how much it is going to cost so my mama knows how much she has to save.”
McGruder’s mother, Terri McGruder, who has a doctorate in education, said she is very proud of her daughter’s accomplishments and her already well-thought -out plan.
“I think it is very good,” she said. “We are inclined for excellence in my house, and I teach my children they must work hard and have a plan at a young age.”
McGruder is also the daughter of Ricky McGruder.
Kyle Rushing, son of Ron and Kappi Rushing, said he wants to be just like his daddy when he grows up.
“I want to be a football coach, because I want to be just like my daddy,” Rushing said pointing to his father, who is Cathedral High School’s head football coach.
Luckily for Cathedral, that means they already have a football coaching commitment from the 5-year-old.
“I want to coach Cathedral because my daddy does,” Rushing said.
And Rushing is already in training with his dad.
“I watch film and go to practice with the football players,” he said.
Rushing has even mastered his dad’s signature finger point and hat throw.
Rushing said his favorite teams are LSU and Cathedral, and Cathedral players Khalil Brice and Ishmael Blackmon are his favorite players.
His dad’s job, Rushing said, mostly involves telling the players what to do on the football field.
“Calling plays and telling them what to do, that’s what I want to do,” he said.
Ron said he is proud his son wants to follow in his footsteps.
“Of course it means a lot to hear him say that,” he said.
But most important to Ron is instilling the values in Kyle that he tries to teach his football players.
“I teach them to respect everybody, and hopefully as they get older they’ll learn a hard work ethic and to work together that will allow them to be whatever they want to be,” he said.
Trinity Episcopal Day School second grader Laci Clifton has found the inspiration for her future career as an art teacher in a Trinity classroom.
“I just feel inspired to be an art teacher,” Clifton said. “Mrs. Mosby inspired me. I want to teach kids how to do art like Mrs. Mosby.”
Betsy Mosby said she is flattered she has inspired Clifton and believes Clifton could be a budding artist and teacher.
“She really has some potential, she can draw, and she is just a precious child,” Mosby said.
Drawing and painting are Clifton’s favorite art activities. Clifton’s watercolor and crayon painting of a purple boot won second place in a Trinity art competition last year.
“It’s my favorite,” she said running her hand across the painting.
Clifton is the daughter of Dr. Brad LeMay and Sherri LeMay and Jimi Clifton.
Sherri said she thinks it is fabulous her daughter wants to be an art teacher.
“She certainly is talented, and we’ll send her to the best art school if that is what she wants to do,” she said.
At age 7, Clifton is sure that is the plan for her future.
“I think it will be fun,” she said.
Bradrick Dean Jr.
McLaurin Elementary School fifth grader Bradrick Dean Jr., son of Bradrick Dean and Charlene Jones, said he is aspiring to be a dentist and not just because he likes teeth.
“People are always going to have toothaches, so you’ll never run out of business,” he said.
Some kids might be a little afraid to go to the dentist, but not Dean. He said he likes his trips to the dentist’s office.
Dean also said he wants to keep animals at his future dental office, just like his dentist, Dr. Edwin Holt.
Dean’s father said he is happy to see his son setting goals early in life.
“I think it’s great for him to already have a goal in mind,” he said. “He is a very strong-minded young man for his age.”
Dean said dental school is his first plan, but he said he also wants to play professional baseball and football and attend LSU or Michigan State.