Kenai Central High School students Lindsey Weber and Kathryn Darch observe Veterinarian Dr. Jim Delker remove staples from their patient, Molly, during Job Shadow Day on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the Twin City Veterinarian Clinic in Kenai, Alaska.

Kenai Central High School students Lindsey Weber and Kathryn Darch observe Veterinarian Dr. Jim Delker remove staples from their patient, Molly, during Job Shadow Day on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the Twin City Veterinarian Clinic in Kenai, Alaska.

KCHS students join the work force

  • Wednesday, March 2, 2016 9:59pm
  • News

Editor’s note: Mara Youngren-Brown, Caleigh Jensen and Avery Hieber spent Wednesday in the Clarion newsroom as part of Kenai Central High School’s Job Shadow Day program.


Wednesday was a unique day for Kenai Central High School students; instead of the usual six hours of class work, more than 100 junior students participated in Job Shadow.

The program provides the opportunity for students to receive on-the-job experiences in their local community. From law enforcement to journalism, students got a chance to network with potential employers and career choices.

This program is one-of-a-kind, said Kenai Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Operating Officer Johnna Beech, and Kenai Central High School is the only high school that offers it. Job Shadow is a successful program because students either love the experience or realize that the career is not fitting for them, helping them make crucial decisions about college and their future.

As a part of preparations for Job Shadow day, students used a program called AKCIS to research careers they were interested in. After narrowing the selection down to three possible occupations, juniors examined many aspects of the career, such as employment outlook, wages, and working conditions. Students then rated each category based on their personal preferences.

Finally, they chose their top occupation and learned how to write a cover letter, resume and properly fill out a job application. The four months of constant writing, editing, and revising resulted in well-prepared students and successful experiences for all involved.

Beech is in her fifth year of helping to facilitate the program, now in its 22nd year.

She said Job Shadow is an “incredible opportunity” and that it really shows how involved the community is with local youth.

“This program is very important to our community because it shows high school juniors that there are many diverse opportunities in Alaska,” Beech said.

This year, 122 students are participating in Job Shadow, along with around 35 local businesses. The process and planning of Job Shadow usually starts with an initial meeting in September. Overall, the whole process from start to finish usually amounts to five months.

Job Shadow is very beneficial for kids and business, as it helps establish connections between possible employers and employees, Beech said. Many students have received jobs or internships as a direct result of the program. The businesses benefit from this program because it gives them a chance to help younger generations of fresh new talent look toward local businesses as possible places of employment.

Beech said the program receives positive feedback from the businesses involved, as they are impressed by the students’ cover letters and resumes. Even after 22 years of Job Shadow, the Chamber of Commerce is always looking for new businesses to be involved in this program.

The businesses that are involved are catered toward the interests of the students, but new businesses are always welcome, Beech said.

“This amazing program would not be possible without the community’s collective effort to make this happen,” Beech said.

Dr. Jim Delker at Twin City Veterinarian Clinic hosted two students from Kenai Central High School as part of Job Shadow. This is Delker’s fifth year participating as a host in the program. He said this is a very good opportunity for students to learn about local job opportunities.

Job Shadow concluded Wednesday with a luncheon for all participants, with presentations from two Kenai Central graduates — Kelly Gifford, who graduated in 1980, and Stephanie Queen, who graduated in 2000.

More in News

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Snow falls atop the Central Peninsula Diabetes Center in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. The office opened in October, but a grand opening was held this week. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Central Peninsula Hospital adds Diabetes Center

The center has been seeing patients since October and held a grand opening Monday

Gary Hollier pulls a sockeye salmon from a set gillnet at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Findings from pilot setnet fishery study inconclusive

The study sought to see whether shorter nets could selectively catch sockeye salmon while allowing king salmon to pass below

Most Read