Medical illustrator Mandy Root-Thompson from MedDraw Studio.
February 13 was a special day for students at Walnut Springs Middle School, where 50 speakers representing a wide variety of careers came to impart some wisdom. Seven hundred sixth and seventh grade pupils were given the opportunity to visit six thirty-minute sessions of their choice, using a “passport” to guide them through the day. The youngsters were encouraged to ask great questions, follow PAWS behavior (Positive, Accountable, Willing, Safe), and dress to impress. Those who were “caught” doing those things were given a red ticket and entered into a raffle for tokens from Rapid Pizza, Starbucks, City Barbecue and Walnut Springs. Three hundred eighth graders were off site, participating in Shadow Day with community members.
Former National Football League offensive lineman Shawn Harper started the day with a motivational talk about overcoming personal obstacles and making good choices. He succeeded because he received support from caring teachers and coaches, and left behind the bad habits and influences that were keeping him down. In addition to being a motivational speaker, Harper is an entrepreneur who owns and directs a successful security services business in Columbus. The Parent Teacher Organization, Jason’s Deli, Tim Hortons, and Panera provided breakfast and lunch to all who volunteered.