WIESBADEN, Germany - Punxsutawney Phil wasn't the only one to see his shadow Feb. 2. Parents and mentors throughout U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden were shadowed by Department of Defense Dependents Schools students during Groundhog Job Shadow Day.
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"I think it's a great opportunity for kids to see what their parents do," said Sgt. Matthew Vanderbeogh, 1st Armored Division, as he led a group of young people on a tour of the Engagement Skills Trainer on Wiesbaden Army Airfield. "I think it went off wonderfully."
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Students joined their parents and mentors at work to gain insight on the working world.
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"I want to be a vet (veterinarian)," said Alyssa Molina, age 7, whose mother works as a management assistant for the Wiesbaden Residence Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District. Molina said she had the opportunity to observe her mother at work performing administrative duties and maintaining an active office environment.
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About 30 students ranging from elementary to high school spent the day with Wiesbaden engineers performing gravity experiments, learning more about engineering careers and touring the new Wiesbaden Entertainment Center. Resident engineer Neil Ravensbergen provided a 30-minute tour of the new center where students examined the two-story, 27,000-square-foot facility that will feature a 16-lane bowling alley, theme restaurant, conference area, children's soft play area, a pro-shop, multi-purpose rooms, a kids zone, a video game area and offices.
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"Watching the video of the making of 'Avatar' was the most fun part of the tour," said Wiesbaden High School's Tai Willis, age 14.
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"Maybe today will help me figure out what I want to do," said Rob Kem, 14, when asked about future career plans.
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Maj. John Derew, deputy area engineer, was on hand to tell the students about potential engineer salaries and education requirements. With a starting salary of $40,000 and ranging upward to $78,000, the young teens were more interested in learning about how to get started at their level. "Internships are available along with other programs," said Derew.
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After being deployed during former Job Shadows Days, 1st Armored Division's Sgt. 1st Class Keith Piotrowski said he was glad to have the chance to share the day with his daughter Wednesday.
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"I like seeing what Daddy does at work," said Wednesday.
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With many parents currently deployed, Lt. Col. Conrad Wiser, 1st Armored Division's rear detachment commander, said fellow Soldiers in Wiesbaden stepped in "and shared the wealth" to serve as mentors during Job Shadow Day. He explained that before getting the chance to fire virtual weapons in the EST, the youths helped Soldiers prepare for deployment, helping them process out on their way to Iraq.

Page last updated Thu February 18th, 2010 at 05:33