MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
How many Marines does it take to light up a light bulb?
Well, if you're talking about the symbolic bulb that lights up over someone's head when they get a bright idea -- then apparently one or two works just fine.
That theory was demonstrated multiple times when Marines, Sailors and other local professionals participated in the Tucker Creek Middle School annual career day in Havelock, N.C., Oct. 20, 2017. During the event, over 120 eighth grade students picked from a dozen professionals to learn more about careers available to them down the road.
Depending on which careers interested eighth graders the most, each group was given the opportunity to rotate between four of the presenters available, according to Noelle, 13-years-old, a student at the middle school.
“Many people from different jobs around here came out and talked about what they do and gave a description of their job,” said Noelle.
Each career representative’s interaction with a group of students lasted 25 minutes before a bell rang for the students to stampede and rotate to the next presenter. With U.S. Navy corpsmen adding to the list of service members, other presenters included a police officer, a lawyer and a cosmetologist.
“I’m really grateful for [Tucker Creek] hosting this career day because I didn’t know there were all these different job opportunities,” said Noelle. “It gives you a chance to have a day in the life for different jobs. It opened up my mind to many other jobs.”
One of the presenters, Sgt. Nathan Farmwald, remembers how a Marine at a similar event in his own elementary school changed his life.
“I had one career day as a kid and it’s what actually got me interested in joining the military,” said Farmwald, a motor transport operator assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Cherry Point. “The Marine told me, if you’re going to join a branch, join the best branch. And I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”
Nearly 200 Tucker Creek Middle School students are military-connected with active duty parents and about 400 children connected through extended family and retirees.
Farmwald said he jumped at the chance to present at the career day and have the opportunity to pay his experiences forward to the next generation.
“It feels awesome to be on the other side of a career day now and show the kids what we do,” said Farmwald. “Events like this speak heavy volumes about the relationship between MCAS Cherry Point and the outside community. It’s awesome and it builds those community relations letting us show the kids a glimpse into our world.”
“I think it shows everyone that the base is interested and involved to be a part of our schools and they care about us,” said Patricia White, a counselor with the middle school.
According to White, the middle school has hosted the annual career day for nearly a decade.
“I think it can mold their future,” said White. “The children benefit from the career day by learning about various careers and, if they’re interested, they can learn about the education required, the pros and cons, and it peaks their interest not only about the job, but also about high school and college.
“I hope that they find a career that they are very interested in and they learn about it and can follow up with their goals through high school,” said White.