|Job shadow day participant Robert Jackson stands outside the St. Helena Parish Extension Office on Feb. 2, 2016.|
|Robert learns how to make a smoothie on the 'Smoothie Bike,' at the St. Helena Parish Extension Office.|
Baton Rouge, La. – ‘Job Shadow Day’ is a full-day event to help middle school students gain exposure to the various careers that this world has to offer. On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Nicolette Gordon, Southern University Ag Center Assistant Area Agent, introduced Robert Jackson, a sixth grader at Westside Jr. High School, to the wonderful world of careers in Cooperative Extension. Gordon provided a first-hand look at the personal skillset, knowledge and education Jackson would need in order to pursue a career in this field. Although this event is designed to partner youth with careers of interest, it is also used to gain exposure to those careers that are not necessarily familiar to them.
Jackson’s day started off in the office, and making a mail run. While dropping a letter in the postal box, he was greeted by a prominent member in the Greensburg community. “This is where he learned his first lesson about Cooperative Extension,” said Gordon. She quickly reminded him that being an area agent is solely dependent upon building good relationships within the community.
Gordon also discussed that Cooperative Extension requires being in the field, and created a grocery shopping assignment for Jackson that would require him to buy ingredients to make a smoothie. She explained that recruiting youth to live healthier lives is one of the primary focuses that the SU Ag Center spends a substantial amount of time promoting. After completing the shopping assignment, she also allowed Jackson to try the Smoothie Bike. This hands on approach was used to explain to Jackson how the Smoothie Bike is very essential in educating, and recruiting youth to live healthy. At that very moment he decided that Cooperative Extension could potentially be a career, he said, “I like that you can ride your bike at work to make a smoothie.”
Gordon also gave him a tour of the St. Helena 4-H Goat Farm to see the Boer & Norwegian Goats that will be shown during the SU Ag Center’s 73rd Annual State Livestock Show in March.