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Zama American High School seniors who participated in the Career Practicum Program receive their scholarship letters from Program Advisor, (foreground) Geralyn Noah after the Annual Recognition Luncheon at Camp Zama Friday.
Zama American High School seniors who participated in the Career Practicum Program receive their scholarship letters from Program Advisor, (foreground) Geralyn Noah after the Annual Recognition Luncheon at Camp Zama Friday. (Jim Schulz / S&S)

CAMP ZAMA, Japan — Zama American High School 11th-grader Kylie Borno is starting her medical career early at the Atsugi Branch Medical Clinic.

Despite being only 16, she is learning how to work with patients and eventually to give shots, valuable skills she’ll need when she becomes a nurse.

Borno and 80 other students from her school are part of the Career Practicum Program, a course that places them in jobs to build career foundations.

“It’s really about placing students out in the work world,” said Dr. Bobbie Donald, the coordinator for the program.

The program helps students decide what they want to be or if they already know, it helps prepare them for the job, Borno said.

“I’m able to go into the real world and actually be with patients,” she said “You can actually go out into the community.”

Students start by learning the basics of finding a job: creating a résumé, contacting employers and acing an interview.

Students work with supervisors at the various jobs, at places such as the medical clinic, fitness centers, restaurants, beauty salons and schools.

Steven Langla, 19, wants to study English and dramatic arts and be an English teacher. He works at the high school, and even taught his 12th-grade peers.

He learned to prepare a lesson and taught a psychology class.

“They actually teach you how to make a lesson plan. It’s not just filing,” he said.

The jobs are spread out across Camp Zama, Atsugi Naval Air Facility, Sagami Depot and Sagamihara Family Housing Area.

At Friday’s end-of-year ceremony, students received special honors, and each graduating senior in the program earned a scholarship, Donald said.

“It’s good to work with other people,” Langla said. “It gives you a good experience for later on. It’s my favorite class.”

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