MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
In recognition of the Disability Employment Awareness Program, Cherry Point teamed up with local vocational rehabilitation services offices in Craven and Carteret Counties to host Protégé Day June 5.
The purpose of Protégé Day was to give 15 individuals with disabilities the opportunity to shadow professionals in their desired career fields for a day, in order to gain a better understanding of current positions aboard the air station.
“I’m grateful to have an opportunity to participate in this program,” said Deborah Kelly, a Protégé Day participant. “I’m gaining knowledge and understanding that I would not have been able to get otherwise.”
During the course of the day, the individuals were paired with air station employees who are considered subject matter experts in their occupational fields. The employees brought expertise from different sections and directorates across the air station, including supply, installation personnel administration, the air station library and Marine Corps Community Services.
Kelly said she was excited to shadow library employees, including the head librarian. After studying general education at Craven Community College, Kelly said she grew more interested in becoming a librarian.
“I really wanted to shadow someone at the library because I would like experience in that field,” she said. “I hope to become a librarian one day because I have a love for reading. I’m an avid reader, and I love helping others.”
Kelly said she will cherish what she learned throughout the day.
“This only strengthened my love for reading and motivated me to keep working toward my goal of becoming a librarian,” Kelly said.
Protégé Day was an excellent opportunity for professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with individuals who would not otherwise have access to this one-on-one information sharing, said Cookie Padrick, Protégé Day coordinator.
All in all, the participants benefitted from the day’s activities, said Padrick. They voiced interest in participating in similar opportunities more often, she said.
At the conclusion of the event, the participants not only took away a better understanding of opportunities available to them on the air station, they also received certificates of participation.