It’s not uncommon for college students to decide to change majors after a year or two of taking classes at a university, but a new program at Basehor-Linwood High School is designed to help students get a glimpse of their chosen profession before they enter college.  

This year, a job shadowing program was created to help students witness what a true day is like in the life of a career they want to pursue.  

Juniors interested in finding out more about a possible career path can contact a teacher, adviser or school counselor to find out if they know someone in the profession. The student then spends a full day shadowing that professional in all aspects of their duties. The hope is that in the future, the community will find out about the program and reach out to BLHS to find a student they can mentor for a day.

The program has linked with Providence St. Margaret Health Center, KU Medical Center, a local construction company and even a Lawrence television station to provide opportunities for BLHS students.

At May’s board of education meeting, junior Madison Bowers talked about her shadowing experience.  

“I spent the day shadowing an Osawatomie speech pathologist,” she said. “I got to help them and see that a speech pathologist helps with all-around communication skills, not just sounding out words.”

It was such a positive experience that Bowers also wants to expand her shadowing opportunity into speech pathology at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

After completion of the shadowing experience, each student is required to write a paper as part of their English class documenting why they chose the profession, a reflection of the job and whether or not this is still a career they plan to pursue.

“We have changed the junior English research paper to be focused on careers. This will really allow our students to take some time to dive into what careers are out there and what they need to do to get where they need to get,” said Jarred Fuhrman, assistant principal at BLHS.

Superintendent David Howard relayed an experience with his daughter, who thought that being a physical therapist was something she wanted to do. After spending time with someone who does that job full-time, it became apparent to her that it was not something she wanted to do as a career.  

“It was good to find out before she went to college and began her studies,” he said.  

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com