Finding future opportunities
Students at R-S Middle School heard about multiple career opportunities during the school's third annual career day on Wednesday. Around 30 different speakers came out to speak with the students about future career options.
"We feel like with the area and the job situation here, it's part of our job to expose them to as many jobs as possible," Debbie Abrams, school counselor, said. "They rotate and see each speaker for 15 minutes."
Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades heard from a variety of different careers including firefighters, policemen, a diesel mechanic, a nurse, a chemist and many more. Todd Revis of the Spindale Fire Department talked to the students about the hours of his job and the education needed to become a firefighter.
"We are not just firefighters. We cut people out of cars, we are EMTs, we get cats out of trees and dogs out of wells," Revis said. "You've got to be dedicated and work hard to get a job."
Todd Coffey, a professional pitcher and current free agent, also talked to the students about his career in Major League Baseball. Coffey was born in Forest City and drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1998 after he graduated from Chase High School. He has also played with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is now in rehab after a Tommy John Surgery but he hopes to get back on the field soon.
"I told the students they could ask me anything under the sun. I'm trying to let them know what the day-to-day routine is like at the ballpark," Coffey said. "You see their faces light up when they see this is a job. I tell them there are 162 games and no days off and they can't believe it."
Coffey said he enjoyed talking to the students.
"With me still being here and rehabbing, giving back to the community is important," Coffey said. "I like to do anything I can to help the schools."
Loyce Broughton, a freelance associate director for television and sports production who also owns her own crewing company, talked about working the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament and how she hires people for the Mobile TV Group. She has also previously worked as a stage manager.
"Whatever you do, please do something you would be willing to do for free," Broughton told the students. "Every skill I've learned I've done it on my own time, without compensation. I love what I do."
Other speakers included Rutherford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Mason, the Lake Lure Fire Department, North Carolina Wildlife Officer Dan Vogel, North Carolina Highway Patrol and Narcotic's Officer Josh McCraw.
Later in the day, Financial Services Representative George Hines and baseball player C.J. Beatty also spoke to the students. Beatty was a player for the St. Louis Cardinals and is now a free agent and a motivational speaker. He has his own Youtube channel called "Motivational Nugget."
"I'm touching on how important it is to get in the right mindset at an early age. We are going to talk about listening and following instructions. We tend to forget sometimes that we have two ears and one mouth," Beatty said. "I like to speak with the youth because they are tomorrow's leaders."