A glimpse into the working worldTwelve Jefferson High School (JHS) seniors took part in the Career Mentor Connection, a program that pairs students with a mentor in the profession that interests them.
Twelve Jefferson High School (JHS) seniors took part in the Career Mentor Connection, a program that pairs students with a mentor in the profession that interests them.
The program features placement with a professional combined with the guidance of Wendy Watts, program coordinator and teacher at JHS. Students are required to complete projects based on their year-long experience.
Those projects were showcased at a banquet at Arrowwood Resort on May 12. Following are the students who took part in this year’s program:
Chelsea Schroeder mentored with Wendy Gunderson at the Douglas County Hospital and Irmadene Hanson at Bethany Nursing Home in the field of nursing. She also took three weeks in November to get her certified nursing assistant degree from Alexandria Technical College. Her favorite part about the mentorship was seeing all the different careers in nursing, especially specialty areas like the emergency room. For her project, she researched MRSA and created a brochure. She is going to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks next fall to pursue nursing. She is the daughter of Chad and Heidi Schroeder.
Taryn Thompson mentored with Libby Erickson and Judy Skramstad at Voyager Elementary School in Alexandria, and with Lucas Kosters at Discovery Middle School. She worked with students, corrected papers and taught lessons. She worked in a kindergarten and 2nd grade class and a 7th grade social class. Her project involved helping Erickson with the end-of-the-year kindergarten program. She plans to attend Minnesota State University-Moorhead, to major in secondary education and minor in social studies. Her favorite part of the mentorship was seeing the kids grow and learn. She is the daughter of Mike and Nancy Thompson.
Larissa Lake is the daughter of Becky Lake and Brad Lake. She plans to go to Alexandria Technical College for hospitality management. She mentored with Tastefully Simple’s event and travel team. Her project was to assist her team in planning and getting ready for Tastefully Simple on Tour (TSOT). Larissa also spent many hours preparing for a Halloween social, a Christmas party and the national conference. She was able to use her computer skills to make spreadsheets to assist the team. She learned the many tasks of event planning.
Cassie Negen mentored with Wendy Gunderson at Douglas County Hospital, Tina Nessman at Bethany Home, and Lynn Johnson at Douglas County Public Health in the field of nursing. Her favorite part during this experience was going to obstetrics and doing home visits at Public Health. Cassie chose to do her project on prenatal care. She attended childbirth classes, interviewed a midwife and created a brochure. She will be attending Alexandria Technical College to pursue her dream in the nursing field. Cassie is the daughter of Bob and Diane Negen.
Aaron Rentschler mentored with Shawn Reilly at the Alexandria Beetles Baseball office. He worked on various public relations projects like newsletters and housing parent surveys. He then went to Douglas Machine where he mentored with Tom Wosepka and Becky Iverson. There he focused on accounting and prepared various spreadsheets. For his project, he did a special accounting spreadsheet for the items sold in the Lakes Area Recreation online bidding fundraiser. Aaron plans to attend the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks for accounting. He is the son of Dan and Chris Rentschler.
Steven Carlsen mentored at Rix’s Pharmacy with pharmacists Richard Petty and Barb Peterson. He answered phones, helped customers and eventually started counting and filling prescriptions. His mentorship resulted in after school employment at Rix’s as a registered pharmacy technician. For his final project, Steven researched health insurance and its effects on the average policy holder. This fall he plans to attend North Dakota State University in Fargo as a pharmacy major. Steven is the son of Heidi and Rob Carlsen.
Maria Schmidt mentored with Lynne Richardson at Douglas County Hospital (DCH) in Rehab Services. Maria followed Richardson as she worked with Joint Camp patients and observed what a physical therapist job is like. She also spent time in rehab services with outpatients and learned how occupational therapy is done. Her project focused on total joint replacement surgery and DCS’s Joint Camp, explaining what a patient has to do before and after surgery. Maria plans to attend Alexandria Technical College for generals and transfer to St. Cloud State University to obtain a degree in the medical field. She is the daughter of Al and Sheryl Schmidt.
Dylan Johnson mentored with Dr. Randy Peterson at Broadway Medical Center, where he focused on patient relationships and observed appointments. He also went to Douglas County Hospital and observed in radiology, oncology, cardiac rehab and the ICU. For his project, he researched Parkinson’s disease and its effects on people. Dylan will attend the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences in the Twin Cities this fall, majoring in biology. He is the son of Todd and Jill Johnson. His favorite part of the mentorship was getting to explore the medical field and see the variety of career paths it offers.
Caitlyn Schultz mentored at three sites. She started with John Helgeson, a physical therapist at the Alexandria Clinic. She then moved to Heartland Orthopedic Clinic where she mentored with Andrea Nelson and Angie Miller. There she watched Miller’s daily routine as an athletic trainer. Her third mentorship was with Michelle Morrissette in ultrasound at the Alexandria Clinic. With the help of her mentors, she researched why women have a greater chance of tearing ACLs than men. Caitlyn will attend St. Cloud State University for athletic training in the fall.
Jordan Peterson mentored with Tara Bitzan, Life and Special Projects editor at the Echo Press. Jordan set up and conducted interviews, wrote and edited articles, observedproduction and design of the newspaper and attended county commissioner board meetings. Jordan is the son of Richard Peterson. He plans to attend North Dakota State University in Fargo to obtain a major in mass communications with minors in print journalism and French studies. His favorite part about working at the Echo Press was communicating with coworkers and interviewees and accomplishing his dream of publishing a piece of writing.
Maranda Baumgartner mentored with Shane Wichtendahl, sous chef at Arrowwood and with Rob Rodas, corporate chef, and Amy Koep, head prep chef at D. Michael B.’s. At Arrowwood she prepped food for banquets, helped prepare desserts and served at banquets. At D. Michael B.’s she prepped foods used daily. For her project she is preparing a meal for the career mentorship class. Maranda is the daughter of Mark Baumgartner. She plans to attend Johnson and Wales University in North Carolina. She plans to attain a bachelor’s degree in business management and baking and pastry, and an associate’s degree in culinary.
Elizabeth Hausmann is the daughter of Jan and Joyce Hausmann. She chose graphic design as her focus, mentoring with Karen Tolifson and Nicki Sorensen at Photo Magic under the direction of Doug Lang. She learned new graphic software, designed various artworks and became familiar with the business aspect. She also job shadowed at the Echo Press, Aagard Group and with Tastefully Simple’s design team. The highlight of her mentorship was to be on site to see and experience what is done on the job. In the fall Elizabeth will attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to major in graphic design and illustration.