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Job Shadow Day in Sunnyvale

Launched in 1998, Job Shadow Day is a national initiative intended to bring students into the workplace and provide them with the opportunity to experience the work world firsthand and make that connection between school and career. Students engage in early career exploration that leads to better informed choices by “shadowing” employees in the workplace and employers have the opportunity to introduce career options to potential future employees.  For many years now, NOVA, in collaboration with the City of Sunnyvale, has hosted a Job Shadow Day for this community’s disadvantaged youth. This year, Job Shadow Day was held on March 11 and was another big success!

Twenty-four sophomores participated from Homestead High School’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. AVID is a college-preparatory elective program that was created to provide support and resources for underserved students in the “academic middle” and holding them accountable to a higher standard that will lead to higher education and career success. Students participate in this program throughout their four years in high school and during their sophomore year they focus on career pathways, so their participation in Job Shadow Day is particularly timely. Many AVID graduates become the first in their family to attend college.

The day began with a special orientation session that was held in the Sunnyvale City Council Chambers. Sunnyvale Mayor Jim Griffith and City Manager Deanna Santana welcomed participants and shared their career paths, with speakers from the City’s Environmental Services, Parks, and Public Safety departments highlighting the diverse careers that are available in government. Following the orientation, participants proceeded to their job shadow sites hosted by several City departments including Environmental Services, Library and Community Services, Public Safety, Public Works and NOVA. Students had been asked about their career interests in advance and were placed at sites that match these interests. The inspirational event concluded with lunch and a speaker from the City’s Human Resources department, followed by a wrap-up and group photo.

NOVA would like to thank the City of Sunnyvale for its contributions that have made this event such a success every year.