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Cocopah Education Department Launches Career Exploration Field Trip Series

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Students toured Arizona Western College's public radio station and television services studio.

     Some Cocopah students on Friday got to find out what it’s like to be in front of a microphone and behind a camera.
     These middle and high school students toured Arizona Western College’s public radio station, KAWC, and the College’s Television Services studio.
     “The purpose of this new field trip series is to give Cocopah students a first hand look at the various careers available to them before they get to college,” according to the Cocopah Education Department.
     “It’s a great way for them to explore, learn, and find out what it takes to find the right career for them and to excel in that career,” said Cocopah Truancy Officer Nick Kenn.
     KAWC Morning Edition Producer/Anchor Stephanie Sanchez showed students how she uses digital recording equipment to conduct field interviews and craft stories for broadcast.
     Sanchez, who grew up in Yuma, also shared with students how she embarked upon a career in journalism and what it takes to succeed.
     “I bumped up my grade point average,” Sanchez said, adding: “Evaluate yourself. Find out what you like and what you don’t like.”
     Sanchez enrolled at AWC and later transferred to Arizona State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication before returning to Yuma.
     Earning a degree gave her the opportunity to work as a fulltime newspaper reporter and later as a producer/anchor for a local television station before finding her true calling in public broadcasting.
     “Knowing that I am doing good, knowing that I am making a difference, that’s what I like about my job,” she said.
     KAWC General Manager Dave Riek gave the Cocopah students a tour of the station and explained to them how public broadcasting operates free of commercials.
     Riek, who also serves as an on-air host, emphasized the value of internships.
     “Internships are a good opportunity to get some hands-on experience,” Riek said, adding: “Find something that you really care about and study that.”
     The tribe’s education department, in collaboration with the department’s Truancy Prevention Office, launched the career field trip series in July. Participating students have toured the Yuma County Detention Center to see what it is like to work as a Detention Officer.
     “The message for our students is simply this: Your dreams are within reach. You just have to graduate to make them come true,” said Truancy Officer Nick Kenn.
     The Education Department is planning a field trip to the Yuma Sector U.S. Border Patrol station to show students what it’s like to serve as a Border Patrol agent.