I got there a little early. The students hadn't arrived yet and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Then they walked in.
All smiles, giggles, squirming youth coming to learn what life may look like in the future.
As they came into the Campbell City Hall Council Chambers and sat down, turned to each other and smiled I was reminded of the time before one had to get up early to go to work, get the kids ready and look forward to the weekends as a time not to go out and party or see friends but to sleep and catch up with the housework.
It was my first time volunteering for the . I was to be matched with two students and had the task to take them to my office (, unofficially) and talk to them about my career, what I did to get there and the important skills needed to have a job/career in the future.
But before that, the 23 students became our city officials.
Campbell Assistant to the City Manager Al Bito spoke to the students about city hall and jobs in government, as well as City Planner Clinton Brownley, then the students were able to sit in the council seats, speak as city residents and experience what it's like being in front of an audience.
Soon after, the pairing was announced and we were off. My two students, Cierra Lorenzo and Christopher Okoye, both eighth graders were ready to hear me talk. But before that, muffins!
We walked to Orchard Valley, ordered muffins and found seats. I turned to the person sitting next to us and introduced myself, explained what we were doing and he smiled and introduced himself to the two students.
This was my first lesson for them. Talk to people. You'd be amazed what you learn from them. Everyone has something to say. And the patrons of OVC were more than happy to oblige.
I also equipped my two cub reporters with notebooks and pens, which came in handy for my next lesson.
I had them do their first interview, and they nailed it! OVC regular Johan Christiaanse was eager to participate, answered their question and was so patient as we practiced reading back our notes and checking the spelling of his name.
But the highlight, for both my cubs and myself was when Campbell Mayor Mike Kotowski walked through the door. I was quick to get his attention and introduce him to my two students. Their faces lit up when I said, "And this is the Mayor..."
He shook their hands, gave them his business card and chatted with us a bit.
I received a note late last night from Campbell Middle School Counselor Margot Parker that left me with a smile and further evidence of what I had already witnessed earlier in the day.
"It was great to meet you at Shadow Day today," Parker said. "The kids really gained so much from the experience. I was so impressed that at the luncheon, students were talking about how important it is to learn math for their future. These experiences help our students believe in their future, to reach for their dreams."