Scotland High students see options during career day

by Maria D. Grandy –


Contributed photo | Mary Draper, sitting, speaks with a student at Scotland High School during Career Day about Vocational Rehabilitation and how the organization can help with college and career.

Navy officers, Mario Carney, left and Victory Bullard, right, share their experiences in the military with Scotland High students during Career Day.

LAURINBURG — Students at Scotland High School got the opportunity to consider different occupations during recent the second annual Career Day.

Vonda Graham, Career and Technical Education coordinator at SHS, said the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce and partners with the Scotland County Schools Career and Technical Education Department helped in the selection of the businesses and organizations. The staff made sure all 16 national career clusters were represented.


“This year we organized the event specifically for current juniors and seniors . Based on the feedback from our last career day, we found employers wanted more time to share with those soon entering the workforce and deciding on a major for college,” said Gorham.

There were 45 businesses, industry and post-secondary institutions that participated this year.

“The career day went a lot smoother with just eleventh and twelfth grade students this year. They seemed to be more involved with the employers,” said senior Taylor Jernigan, who has helped with the event for the past two years.

Kyle Ferrell said, “it gave me a lot of insight into careers and opportunities. While I was talking to the Marine Corps representative, he told me how I could join the Corps and go to school at the same time. He also told me how this could help me pay for college. The career day event was a success and very insightful.”

Career and Technical Education Director Dr. Camille Goins said the event takes a lot of preparation but she wants to make sure the students have a valuable, meaningful and learning experience.

“A Career Day is just one of many ways that help to create a critical link between the classroom and the workplace by allowing students to explore various career options so that they can make informed, educational and career choices. Scotland County schools is fortunate to have a strong partnership with our area businesses and post- secondary institutions that help to provide this and many other opportunities for our students,” Goins said. “We are thankful for the many careers that were represented at today’s event.”

Mario Carney and Victoria Bullard were at the event as recruiters for the United States Navy.

“I like how you have different jobs instead of colleges so they can kind of get an idea of what to expect outside of school, outside of college, even if they need a degree to get that job,” Carney said. “They have an idea of what career fields they can get into. They have other options,” he said.

He has been in the service for six years, while Bullard is new to the military life, just enlisting in November.

Carney said he tells students he joined the military to travel and has been to eight countries. Originally from Virginia, he added, he said he would have never been able to see the world as he has if he had not enlisted.

“I have stability and I’m secure. I have a stable paycheck, I have medical insurance. I like being able to be in control of my career path,” he said.

Mary Draper with Vocational Rehabilitation was also there. Her organization helps individuals with disabilities find employment and get additional education. Job seekers are able to get help with their resume, counseling and improving their job seeking skills.

“But some of the students look at when you say disability they look at as a mental health issue, they don’t look at it as physical or health issue,” she said. “I tried to explain to them diabetes, that’s a disability. You could have ADHD, that’s a disability. You do not have to have just a learning disability to be disabled.”