By Michael Daniels
Toledo Journal Staff Reporter
To spark students’ interest and expose them to career possibilities, as well as, career choices available to them locally and otherwise, Toledo Public Schools under the direction of Superintendent and CEO Dr. Romules Durant, held their second Career Connect Expo in downtown Toledo’s Seagate Convention Center.
This Expo provides students the opportunity to see, meet and talk, one on one, to potential employers from a vast variety of companies, as well as, converse with experienced working professions already in the field. It is all about TPS’s college and career readiness initiative for the students when they graduate high school.
One of the many people, the students were able to meet was Scott High Alumni, Lt. Terrin Ramsey RN, an employee, and representative for the United States Public Health Service, a Division of the Department of Health and Human Services. As a registered nurse, she works in a sector of public health that targets Native America people in Tuba City, Arizona. In Arizona. she is a Nurse Case Manager for the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.
Excited to be at the Expo she said, “I’m here today to bring awareness of what the The United States Public Health Service is and introduce it to the students, so that when they finish their college degree program they will consider this as a career opportunity and take advantage of it, It’s a great secure job.”
As interested students stopped at her table Lt. Ramsey explained to them about her company, her position, and what they do telling them, “The United States Public Health Service (USPHS) is a uniformed service, which is part of the seven services of the United States government. We respond to national disasters with highly trained professional that consists of dentists, nurses, physical therapist, engineers, medical doctors, and social workers. We are there to help those in need and we are stationed all across the nation and around the world.”
When asked, “Why did you join the United States Public Health Service, she answered, “I made the best decision for my career and family by joining the United States Public Health Service. It was important for me to work for an organization whose mission and values aligned with mines. The mission of USPHS is to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of the nation. I uphold the values of integrity, service, Eexcellence and most importantly, leadership. I get the privilege of working with the most under-served communities, at one of the largest Native American Reservations, Navajo Nation, and am able to learn about their culture, while also providing them quality, culturally competent care.”
She also explained to the students some of the practical reasons for pursuing a career with the United States Public Health Service saying, “Some of the benefits I have now include 30 vacation days a year, free healthcare, student loan repayment program, low-interest housing loan, GI bill that I can use for myself to earn another degree or I can pass it on to my children. And, after 20 years, I’m eligible to retire with a pension and full medical benefits. As a previous travel nurse, I enjoy the versatility of nursing opportunities and challenge myself professionally by working in different areas and learning a new skill set.”
“The USPHS allows for me to work at multiple federal agencies throughout my career as a highly trained Public Health professional. With almost a decade of professional nursing experience, there are not many employers who can offer the benefit package I receive now. My career pathway is very different from a civilian nurse and I am more marketable as a result of the opportunities and experiences that I have now,” she said.
Lt. Ramsey also explained to students how to apply for a United States Public Health Service position, telling them, “When you are near to the completion of your college degree you can go to the website, ‘ USPHS.GOV ‘ and look for job opportunities. Once you find your intended occupation you can apply for the Junior co-step program, which is a paid internship that allows you to start working in your area of interest. Once you graduate with your degree you can get officially commissioned into a permanent position. You can also call 1-888-225-3302 for more information.”
In closing Lt. Ramsey had these words of advice for the students telling them, “Don’t be afraid of adventure and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Explore new opportunities and always ask questions if you don’t know something or are curious about something. Be the change you want to see for other people, don’t wait on the change to happen. If you are super passionate about something you want, be the first one to do it and you bring the change you want to see.”
While manning her table at the TPS Career Connect Expo Lt. Ramsey got a surprise visit from the boss himself, Dr. Romules Durant. He was obviously TPS proud of her success and that she came back home to inspire and guide the current TPS students into their future careers.
While visiting he also commented on the Expo itself saying. “Today was an exciting time and event that we used to do the career Expo for our students from 7th and 8th grade, high school freshman, and our seniors. We want all of them to have the opportunity for our career and college readiness initiative. Today they are able to make connections, particularly in Jr high to decide on what they want to do in their high school program. The freshman are able to start their courses and course of study into our career tech programs, and seniors are able to do internships. Here at TPS, we want to be able to provide our students the education, grooming, internship, and more importantly the employment they seek. That’s truly what our college and career readiness is all about, and that is our mission and vision here at TPS.”