By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Although all the students of MMS Principal Selina Sparkman are too young to officially work, the leader of the Stallions opened her doors for four days last week to give her students exposure that will helped them in the near future.
“A few years ago I was on a business committee of about 10 people,” Sparkman recalled. “I told them, ‘We appreciate all you do and you always give us money. But how can we give back to you guys?’
“Several of them told me we have so many people come in looking for jobs without basic interview skills,” she continued. “So we developed this program giving our eighth graders a chance to be on a job interview and learn from community business leaders.”
Over the four days, business leaders like Cary Vaughn, Chris Ford, Larry Jackson, Chris Wilcox, Terrance Fluker and Cale Alexander paid a visit to the MMS Library meeting with several students.
The program which started in 2017 has grown to include budgeting, college prep, career, resume’ and interviewing. The students first researched the jobs they are interested in.
Then the staff of MMS reached out to those businesses in the area to visit for job interviews with the children.
“Our children get a chance to exercise what they’ve learned,” Sparkman said. “From how to perform a proper handshake to answering questions. We do this every year, once a year after testing is done.”
The job interview series followed a couple of events involving the city of Millington at Millington Middle School. Career Day was held at MMS for the entire school with more than 50 different professionals on hand.
On April 30, STEM Night was held at MMS with a packed gymnasium. Millington Middle got a chance to showcase its STEM success.
NOTE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
The original members from the community & business team that I put together are listed below.
They are the ones that collaborated with the middle school to come up with our career week. Their goal was to have students learn how to shake hands, look someone in the eye and introduce themselves.
We took that request and decided to have students research college and career opportunities. The students would determine how much college, junior college, trade school and/or apprenticeship was required for the career they were interested in going into. The students then developed their resumes and our community members volunteered time over four days to interview the students and then give them pointers on how to improve their skills.
We have been doing this project for three years.
Those community leaders were Winston Howard, Justin Inskeep, Larry Jackson, Jennifer Lundy, Steven Boatwright, Commander Dave Bryson, Andrew Harbor, Larry Dagen, Cary Vaughn, Dianne Baker, Marilyn Kennard, and Cody Childress.
I would also like to thank our interviewers for the 2019 event. They are Jim Williams, Jeff McDaniel, Amanda Compton, Colby Dorris, Alex Ehret, Carey’s Bodyshop, Virginia Rogers, Catherine Cushinberry, James “Bo” Griffin, Georgia Dawson, John Roundtree, Jeana Decker, Dennis Wages, Linda Overstreet, Rosie Crawford, Jack Leonard, Kevin Fluker, Cory Wilcox, Cale Alexander, Roger McMullen, Lisa Hudson, Jennifer Lundy, Lillie Stollings, Jerry James, David Stubblefield, Jill Church, Chris Ford, Damian Johnston, Hollye Berger, Lizzie McLean, Justin Inskeep, Christopher Markley, and Sebastian Morris.
— Selina Sparkman