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Learning in their shadow

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Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:19 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Rebecca LaFlure

Killeen Daily Herald

Tiffany Nelson, a senior at Shoemaker High School, spent six hours Wednesday helping children with disabilities make pizzas and climb a rock wall at Peaceable Kingdom's 170-acre retreat.

"I wanted hands-on job experience so I know what to do if I decide to choose this job," said Nelson, who's debating whether to pursue a career fighting fires or working with special education students.

The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and Killeen Volunteer Center hosted its 14th annual Groundhog Job Shadow Day Wednesday, sending 135 high school students into the workplace.

Students had the opportunity to follow professionals in their areas of interest, including doctors, lawyers, bankers and educators.

Nelson and Deshaun Peoples, a junior at Shoemaker, spent a day with students in Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children's Environmental Education Program, one of 70 organizations that signed on to participate in the event.

"This helps students get a better connection between what they're learning in school and the business world," said Sheri Watson, youth programs specialist at the Killeen Volunteer Center.

Abigale Flugum, a former Ellison High School student and program coordinator of summer and weekend retreat programs at Peaceable Kingdom, said her experience shadowing a physical therapist in high school influenced her to pursue a career helping children with disabilities.

"It had such a huge impact on my life," Flugum said. "I thought this was something I could do to give back."

Watson said the event helps students find which career path is right for them before they graduate from high school.

Nelson said she plans to follow a career helping special education students after spending a day on the job.

It's so much fun," she said. "Making other people happy is the best job ever."

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