Students from four local high schools learned about various career fields by shadowing service members and government employees here during their fall and spring semesters.
“This program was created to enable high-school students to find a career they are interested in and give them insight on what it takes to obtain and perform that job,” said Larry Rannals, the community plans and liaison officer here. “This helps them find out if that career choice is, or is not, what they want to do after high school.”
A list of the departments available are sent to the schools to create a roster of students going to each field.
“I have always wanted to pursue a career in the medical field,” said Bianca Moreno Vazquez, a senior at Oceanside High School while learning about tools and operations at a dental clinic here.
More than 20 departments on Camp Pendleton, from the base housing office to the naval hospital host students for this program each year. Many have been doing so for 18 years.
“Of the various sections we have, there are about 120 total career fields for the students to choose from and learn about,” said Rannals.
During their time here, the students are able to shadow Marines, sailors or government contractor’s work space and responsibilities in the job fields of their choice.
“Before I got there, I was only a little interested about journalism and photography,” said Chloe Streeter, a student at San Clemente High School. “After learning about being a journalist and what they really do, I am very interested in pursuing it as a career.”
Many of the occupational specialties available for the students range from graphic and video production exhibited at Base Combat Camera, to architecture and engineering presented by the Public Works Office.
“This is an excellent program which allows the base to give back to the surrounding community,” said Rannals. “This program is well supported by the command and allows service members and government employees to share their experiences with high-school students.”
Students are also able to shadow experts in their career field choice such as doctors, dentists and physicians at medical care facilities here.
“My experience here has me even more excited about pursuing a career in the medical field,” said Vazquez.
Rannals stated that there have been more than 450 students who have participated in the School-to-Career Program from the 2012 to 2013 school year making it just under 10,000 students for the past 18 years to participate.