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Through the partnership between ITEP’s Gardena Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) and Jaime Gutierrez, International Trade and Job Training Outreach Coordinator at Los Angeles World Airports, students met at the Flight Path Museum for a job-shadowing day at LA World Airports on May 20, 2011. Fifteen LAWA employees from different sectors including IT System Operations, Financial Reporting, Environmental Services, and Public Relations, took students on a two hour tour to explore a day in the life of a LAWA employee.
11th grader Griselda followed Lt. Keawe Tolson, head of Airport Police, Traffic Control Unit. Interested in a career in Law Enforcement, Griselda was eager to shadow Lt. Tolson, who took her to the airfield where she was able to learn about the vital and necessary safety precautions that security takes.
Griselda not only got a taste of all the exciting things that Lt. Tolson’s jobs entails, but also the day-to-day operations, like checking policies and being aware of employee grievances.
Lt. Tolson spoke to Griselda about the importance of being well rounded and making sure to keep your options open for the future. He explained different positions within the law enforcement field and provided a realistic view of salary structure and the skills necessary to rise within a law enforcement organization.
After hearing all this, Griselda’s enthusiasm caught the attention of Allyson Lavalais, Education Outreach Coordinator, who offered her a coveted summer internship on the spot. This tour only further solidified Griselda’s understanding of the importance of education and how everything she does now, shapes her future later.
After the individual department tours, and a delicious lunch courtesy of LAWA, GGLA students were treated to a demonstration by the K9 Unit. Officer Hans Bergmann and his new partner Eco delighted the students with his “high play drive,” a trait looked for in all service dogs.
Lt. Robert Rios followed up with a passionate speech about the love of his work and serving people in his community. He stressed to the students the need to maintain outstanding citizenship throughout their lives no matter what career they pursue, and how the image they portray on public places like Facebook will affect them down the line.
LAWA was so impressed with the GGLA students, they are excited for another job shadowing day in the fall, and creating an ongoing pipeline for Gardena High School students to gain summer internships in the future.