Career Day A Fun Eye-Opener For BEEF Editor

Career Day A Fun Eye-Opener For BEEF Editor

My wife is the principal at a large elementary school, which means I get the opportunity to “volunteer” a lot. The pickup (and its happy driver) hauls lots of stuff, like the inflatable bouncy tent for the Fall Festival and all the equipment the jump-rope team uses when they put on a demonstration.

Last week, however, my volunteer opportunity involved much less manual labor. I spent a morning at the school’s career day. [3] I was, frankly, not sure why elementary-age kids needed a career day until I visited with one of the long-time teachers there. He told me how important it is that the kids get the idea early on that there are more opportunities out there than working in a fast-food restaurant.

That’s especially important for the kids at my wife’s school, which draws from one of the more economically disadvantaged areas of town. Those kids need to know there’s a way out, and that it’s paved in part with an education. [4]

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I walked into the gym last Friday morning a little skeptical; I walked out refreshed and renewed. There are a lot of good kids out there who just need a chance to succeed and someone to believe in them. One young lady, after I described what I do, asked me how soon she could go to work for the magazine. I told her, with an attitude like that, it probably wouldn’t be long at all. But she might want to go to college first.

The kids were interested, asked a lot of good questions, and enjoyed touching and fooling around with the chaps, spurs and bridle I brought along as props. A discussion about those props, tools that many BEEF readers use in their daily lives, and the laptop computer sitting beside them, provided a great opportunity to talk about the beef business, [6] the writing business and how fulfilling it is for me to combine the two.

There’s no big moral to my tale, nor can I necessarily claim an epiphany from the experience. But I talked with a lot of kids about my work with BEEF and about the beef industry. And the kids, with their endless energy and big smiles, taught me that a little time spent with a child is one of the best investments we can make in our future.


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