Gulfport High Students Visit Local Businesses

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Updated: 10/24/2013 8:40 pm
There are some things that you can't learn in the classroom. Gulfport High School joined with the Gulfport Main Street Association and the Office of Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes to give students a look into the real world. Lisa Bradley, Business and Economic Developer in Gulfport, says, "We felt it was really important to get these kids downtown, have them mingle with some businesses and community leaders." The Gulfport mayor, along with local businesses, such as Tony's Brick Oven Pizzeria and Hancock Bank, spoke with the students about business and industry in the Gulfport market. Pam Gunkle, a teacher at Gulfport High School, says, "They meet with people that are doing what they want to be doing and see that it's not sterile text book learning, but it's communicating.” This tour gives students first hand, real world experiences plus the opportunity to ask questions. One of their stops was Tony's Pizzeria. Tony Swigris, owner of Tony’s Pizzeria, says, "They're at the age where they're like ‘Oh I still don't know what I want to do.’ I'm thinking this will help them decide that maybe ‘Hey, this is a career path I want to go down.’" Aadarrius Rigsby, a senior at Gulfport High School, says, "I want to become a chef and I talked to the owner of Tony’s and he was very informative. He helped me." This gave students a chance to step out of the textbooks. Schuyler Harrison, another senior at Gulfport High School, says, "I can actually come out and see the things I want to do and instead of reading about it, you can see if this is really something you want to do." Businesses also benefit from the students visiting. Bradley says, "We have very bright and intelligent youth out there that will very shortly be calling on them for jobs." This is the first time the city has held this kind of tour, and they hope to do the tour again next year and get other schools involved.

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