Brandywine elementary schools host inaugural Career Days

Published 11:32 am Saturday, May 20, 2023

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NILES CHARTER TOWNSHIP — Students at Merritt and Brandywine Elementary Schools got to experience potential future career paths Friday.

The two schools hosted inaugural career days which allowed students to rotate between stations with different professions to get a firsthand experience of what each profession does on a daily basis.

More than 20 professions participated, including the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, City of Niles Police Department, Niles Township Fire Department Association, United States Postal Service, Kachur Tree Service, WSBT, ABC57, Southwest Michigan Community Ambulance Services, Niles District Library and more.

Mail carrier Shelly Tropp had the opportunity to represent the Niles Post Office for the event.

“Kids love the mailman,” Troop said. “When they deliver mail, kids are so excited to get mail. As adults, we don’t always feel that way about mail, so it’s fun to show them some different things. We talked a little bit about Mr. Zip and why we write on zip codes and I showed them kind of how we set things up and how we do things.”

Tropp has been a mail carrier in Niles for 24 years and enjoyed being able to teach the students about her work.

I’ve always loved my job,” she said. “When I got the job at the post office it was like winning the lottery. The post office was a good place to get a job and still is… We service the community. All the people that are here today service the community.”

Mike Kachur has been servicing trees in the community for more than 30 years. For Kachur, being able to participate in the career day was an enjoyable experience.

“I love seeing the kids, talking with the kids and seeing their excitement and answering their questions,” Kachur said. “It’s really neat to let these kids see what we do and see the equipment and let them have the opportunity to ask questions.”

Tara Hunsberger, Youth Services Team Leader at the Niles District Library, was on hand reading children’s books and answering questions students had about her work. As a former teacher herself, Hunsberger enjoyed spending time with students in classrooms.

“I have a special affinity for Brandywine because my kids go to Brandywine but I am a former teacher, so I love being in the classroom,” she said. “I love talking about my job. I love going out to the schools. I love being a librarian so it kind of puts both of my loves together into one little happy sandwich.”