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Career shadowing provides a positive path for Maui high school students

Maui Police Department mentors Maui County high school students

Maui College
Emily R. Sullivan, (808) 984-3549
Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Marketing
Posted: Mar 18, 2011

Students and officers get ready to dust for fingerprints.
Students and officers get ready to dust for fingerprints.
Officer's Chirs Schmitt and Nick Krau get students involved.
Officer's Chirs Schmitt and Nick Krau get students involved.

The University of Hawai'i Maui College joined forces with the Maui Police Department (MPD) to give students a glimpse of job opportunities in law enforcement. Maui and Baldwin High School students attended a two-day career-shadowing workshop at the Maui Police station where they were introduced to police work, speed detection, traffic laws, fingerprinting and crime scene diagramming.

“The whole purpose is to spark an interest and get the kids interested in a college career," said Lt. Wayne Ibarra, a 1998 graduate of UH Maui College’s Administration of Justice program. "It is a critical period for kids between the ages of 18 and 20, and if they are not busy then, they tend to get in trouble with the police. The career-shadowing program gives them a positive path towards achievement.” 

Career shadowing is designed to give participants a close look at various careers. Through this experience, students connect their interests directly to career pathways, related skills and educational options. 

Several students attending the workshop already have aspirations of a career in law enforcement. Maui High School senior Amber Carranco has been accepted into UH Maui College and plans to major in Administration of Justice this fall. When asked what inspired her to follow this career she replied, “I wanted to be a police officer since I was in second grade. When I was in eighth grade there was an incident involving the police and they helped my family. I knew then that I wanted to be an officer.  Not all cops are bad, and I want to be one of the ones that make a difference.”

Officers Chris Schmitt and Nick Krau lead the program. Students learn about various divisions at MPD through guest lectures by personnel from the Special Response Team (SWAT), the Vice Division and the Criminal Investigative Division (CSI). The officers speak candidly to the students about the dangers of texting while driving, suicide and evidence collection.  After the lectures, students get an opportunity to use the speed laser gun and lift fingerprints.

The career-shadowing program engages high school students with occupations that they may one day want to pursue. The program is made possible by the Carl D. Perkins grant, which provides individuals with relevant, real world learning experiences. Perkins supports Career and Technical Education that prepares students for college education and helps them gain the skills needed to enter the local workforce.

The next career-shadowing event will be held in June in partnership with the Maui Research and Technology Park and Maui Economic Development Board, Women in Technology Project. Students interested in science, technology, engineering and math are encouraged to apply. Please call Tracie Takatani at (808) 984-3209 for more information.