Students learn about Army careers

| March 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
Darienne Dey, a cultrual specialist contracted to the Archeology branch of the Directorate of Public Works, demonstrates how to recognize different types of soil during a College/Career Day presentation at Wahiawa Elementary School on Monday. Standing behind her is Jackie Walden, a historic building specialist contracted to DPW. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Darienne Dey, a cultrual specialist contracted to the Archeology branch of the Directorate of Public Works, demonstrates how to recognize different types of soil during a College/Career Day presentation at Wahiawa Elementary School on Monday. Standing behind her is Jackie Walden, a historic building specialist contracted to DPW. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Story and photos by
Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

WAHIAWA — Students at Wahiawa Elementary School learned about some of the career opportunities offered by the Army at their College/Career Day, here, Monday.

Army public affairs officers, social workers, natural resource specialists and cultural resource specialists joined non-Army representatives from the food and restaurant business, airlines, universities, and the Honolulu Police and Fire departments among others, to meet with the students and answer their questions.

WAHIAWA — Kristen Wong, a layout artist for Hawaii Army Weekly, shows students how to use a digital SLR during College/Career Day, Feb. 26, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

WAHIAWA — Kristen Wong, a layout artist for Hawaii Army Weekly, shows students how to use a digital SLR during College/Career Day, Feb. 26, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

The participating students, who were in the third, fourth and fifth grades, wanted to know how much money they could expect to earn in a given field, how long they would have to study before they could enter the field, and what the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of each job were.

The importance of education quickly became clear, as a higher education translated to a higher salary in almost every career field.

“One of the best things about my job is that I get to spend time outside,” said Kimberly Welch, an environmental outreach specialist with the Army’s Oahu Natural Resources Program. “I love to hike, and I get to be outside hiking every day for my job. I don’t need to go to the gym. I get all of my exercise outside on my job.”

Welch encouraged students to go on hikes with their friends and families to see if it’s something they enjoy. This could help them better determine if a job that gave them plenty of time outdoors was something they wanted to pursue.

She also explained how she and her colleagues help protect Hawaii’s native plants and animals, many of which are endangered, by helping keep their habitats free of invasive species.

Jackie Walden, a historic building specialist contracted to the Directorate of Public Works, shows students at Wahiawa Elementary School a historic photo of Wheeler Army Airfield. Walden was one of several speakers at the school's College/Career Day on Monday. (U.S. Army photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Jackie Walden, a historic building specialist contracted to the Directorate of Public Works, shows students at Wahiawa Elementary School a historic photo of Wheeler Army Airfield. Walden was one of several speakers at the school’s College/Career Day on Monday. (U.S. Army photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Cultural specialists Darienne Day and Jackie Walden, who support the Archeological Division of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Public Works, described how they help preserve the past for future generations using their knowledge of the natural and social sciences.

“Part of the importance of cultural resources is knowing our history, so we know where we came from and we know where we’re going,” Walden said. “History plays a really important role in repeating itself in the future, so there are a lot of lessons to be learned in archaeology and cultural history.”

“Our job engages your artistic skills, too,” Day, who is contracted to the Army through the Pacific International Center of High Technology Research, told the students. “You have to be able to render what you see, so other people can see and learn from it.”

Donna Shock, a clinical social worker for U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks, said she enjoyed speaking to the students.

“A lot of them didn’t know what a social worker was,” she said, “so I got to explain to them what it is I do, how I can help people.”

Shock works with Soldiers and their families who may be experiencing stress and difficulties by identifying issues, providing counseling and connecting them with other resources that could help them.

Aiko Brum, chief of Internal Communications for USAG-HI’s Public Affairs Office, and Kristen Wong, photojournalist and layout artist for the Hawaii Army Weekly, described how they put the paper together every week.

Students practice taking pictures during the Public Affairs discussion. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Students practice taking pictures during the Public Affairs discussion. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Wong said the best part of her job was getting to meet different people and learn about their life experiences. Through her work at newspapers, she said she’s gotten to interview Medal of Honor recipients, Blue Angels and war veterans.

The College/Career Day was one of the many ways the Army partners with local schools to strengthen its bonds with the community.

Through its partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Education and the Joint Venture Education Forum, the military in Hawaii have helped approximately 129 public schools throughout Hawaii receive much-need supplies and manpower. Currently, 49 schools and 43 Army units are actively engaged in the program. More than 600 Soldier volunteers have contributed more than 1,800 hours so far this school year.

Hawaii has the highest number of military-dependent children per capita in the nation, representing approximately 15,000 students or eight-percent of the total student enrollment, according to the Hawaii State Department of Education.  The majority of these students attend 45 schools located on or near military installations in Oahu’s Central, Leeward and Windward school districts.

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Education

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