Boys and Girls Clubs students explore career choices

Career planning hasn’t started a moment too soon for Jacoby Gary. The 17-year-old Laney High School student wants to learn what steps he should take now to find a stable job later.

On Tuesday, Gary toured the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office building on Walton Way with seven other members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the CSRA. The group learned about each division of the sheriff’s office as part of a Boys and Girls Clubs week-long program introducing teens to various career opportunities.

“It’s beneficial to me cause if I want to work at any of these places, I know exactly what’s to come and exactly what’s expected of me,” Gary said.

The teens visited Old Navy, where two filled out job applications, on Monday. The week includes stops at the Boys and Girls Clubs administrative offices, Acura of Augusta and CNN studios in Atlanta.

Before Tuesday’s tour started, Gary thought a career in criminal justice could suit him well because he likes helping out in the community and mentoring younger Boys and Girls Clubs members. Seeing the crime scene lab and talking to investigators convinced him to start thinking more seriously about the future.

“It’s important to get a job so I can help my family,” he said.

Boys and Girls Clubs Teen Program Coordinator Jeremy McCoy hopes the teens begin to see how they can apply school work in future careers. He focuses on preparing older teens for long-term careers and younger teens for part-time jobs they can have in high school.

Many Boys and Girls Clubs members have to overcome barriers to employment such as lack of transportation and parental guidance, McCoy said.

He hoped visiting the sheriff’s office would encourage students to become involved in the community.

“I really want them to see law enforcement in a more positive light. In their communities, it always seem to be a clash with police,” McCoy said.

Kaniya Bates, 13, hadn’t thought about criminal justice before Tuesday. By midday, she had a new career option to consider.

“Maybe this experience could change what I want to do in the future,” she said. “When I got here, I wasn’t interested. But I am interested now.”

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