CAREER DAY: ‘As long as we make a difference in one child’s life, it will be worth it’

Published 3:38 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

NATCHEZ — More than 30 Miss Lou employers presented themselves to Natchez Freshman Academy students during their annual career fair Friday.

Some in attendance included elected officials representing City of Natchez and Adams County positions, funeral home directors, first responders, nurses, insurance and real estate agents, and teachers from Natchez Adams County schools as well as surrounding districts.

Kaya Carpenter at West Gate Funeral Home explained to Soniyah Woods, an inquisitive freshman student, how the mortuary service cares for the dead.

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“We treat them just as if they’re asleep and still alive,” she said. “We wouldn’t handle them in any way that we wouldn’t handle a living person.”

Commander Cal Green of the Natchez Police Department spoke with large groups of male and female students about careers as a police officers as well as the importance of officer and civilian relationships.

“We want to change the perception that the community may have about police and let them know we’re here to protect and serve them,” she said.

Principal Larry Hooper said college and career readiness teacher Debra Allen, school councilor Naomi Walton and he reached out to every prospective employer they knew in the community and many agreed to come to the school Friday and set up tables throughout the halls of the school and talk to students as they approached.

“We just want to expose our children to the various career opportunities in Adams County and the world,” he said.

He commended the students, who were not only orderly and well behaved while walking from table to table between classes but were also asking a lot of questions and showing interest in their visitors’ respective career fields.

Another reason to have a career fair is to expose students who might be facing personal challenges at home to people in the community who overcame challenges themselves.

One of these was Joyce Hargrave of God Sent Staffing Agency and Caring Angel’s Uniforms & Medical Supplies, who overcame the challenge of teen pregnancy and cancer to become a successful business owner.

“We have people here from all walks of life,” Hooper said. “As long as we make a difference in at least one child’s life, it will be worth it.”