Posted on 11/17/2017
Jamie and Shere Talk to Interviewer

Copied from "Chalk Talk" November 17, 2017

Brady High School senior Jamie Hall looked nervous. She was waiting to interview with the Butterfly Pavilion, straightening out her new interview clothes, and going over possible questions.

“I hope I get to work with the animals,” she confided.

When asked how the program helped prepare her, she describes boot camp as informational and practical, including details on how to present yourself like eye contact, posture, and attire.

“There were a lot of things I wish I knew before,” added Hall.

Case Manager Shere'Vere Walker is the key staff person behind the new program at Brady, an alternative high school that specializes in helping students who have struggled in traditional school settings. Students apply and interview to enter the program, then complete a 10-week “boot camp” before interviewing for employers. After working 30-50 hours on Fridays, they do a final presentation.

“We have 16 students heading to 13 employers, but we plan to double that next term,” she explained. "After the level-one boot camp, there is the workplace experience, then a final presentation about what they learned. They earn two credits for the whole program, but really they earn a whole lot more than that."

Students definitely learn a lot – the emphasis of the program is employability skills like setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, time-based), identifying expectations, and interview prep. Students heard from speakers about their jobs, which helped them see the value of a positive attitude, timeliness, and that to be successful, they must understand tasks, ask questions, and finish their work.

Jose Garza, a junior, decided to enter the program because it looked interesting and had a variety of career options.

“I’m excited to get a chance to prepare for the real world before I go out there,” he explained.

Jose is interested in real estate, so he will be working for Lion’s Share Properties.

“They taught us to ask what we’ll be doing during the interview,” he said. “I hope to try a variety of things in their office so I learn about the industry because someday I’d like a job I’d be happy doing.”

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