John D. Jenkins celebrates Equity in Education Month with a guest speaker series highlighting minorities in different careers
Posted on 03/24/2021
Guest speak Devon McKieverJohn D. Jenkins Elementary School is in full swing with a guest speaker series for kindergarten students. The series called, “Kinders Can Be,” includes guest speakers who talk about their careers to kindergarten students. The guest speakers are representative of various minorities and are a way of highlighting equity in education for the month of March.

Each speaker presented to the students over Zoom, sharing their background and what subject or area of school they enjoyed most when they attended school, followed by an example of what they do.

Guest speaker, Alejandra Camino, shared about her Peruvian background and career as a civil engineer. Camino was born in Peru and came to the United States when she was young. She attended George Mason University and studied engineering. In school, Camino’s favorite subjects were mathematics and science. She showed students a photo of herself wearing a bright yellow vest on the job surveying a parking lot, checking to make sure the parking signs and parking lines were all correct.

Camino shared, “Half my job is going out into the community, and checking to see what needs to be fixed, and making sure things are working properly. Engineers find solutions to everyday problems.”

A student asked Camino if she liked her job. Camino replied, “Yes, it takes a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, and I get to help my community.”

Another guest speaker, Devon McKiever shared about his career as a computer scientist. McKiever, who is a Freedom High School graduate, said in school his goal was to be a computer scientist to learn how to make video games, robots, and drones. McKiever shared with the students that he develops technology to help the military protect us. He continued explaining that computer scientists teach computers how to do everything that it knows. He then asked a student volunteer to guide him through the process of making a sandwich. Kindergartener, Sarielys Flores Mariscal, quickly picked up that she must guide McKiever in detail to open the jar, place the knife in the jar, scoop out peanut butter, and spread it on the bread, listing each individual step. McKiever used this example to illustrate what it’s like to develop software for computers.

Kindergarten teacher, Stephanie Terezon, organized the series using her connections to her sorority and Prince William County Public Schools alumni.

Terezon stated, “It was important for me to expose the kindergarteners to these careers so that they know they exist, but it was also important for me to show them examples of people in these careers who look like them and have similar backgrounds. I wanted them to see themselves in these professionals whether it be by how they look, their background, their favorite subjects, just so that they could connect and feel that they too could reach these careers in the future. This year our kindergarten team is making it a point to teach students their potential and their worth and this was one way to teach them they could truly be anything.”