Hardy Middle School sixth graders get lesson in career diversity - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hardy Middle School sixth graders get lesson in career diversity

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A group of sixth grade boys at Hardy Middle School are getting a lesson in career diversity. They are being introduced to a profession many people still associate with women.

One nurse began his introduction by telling students what he first thought about nursing as a profession.

"I never thought about being a nurse," he said. "I was talking to one of my professors and he asked me and I said 'that's for women'."  

Every week, sixth graders sit down with mentors and discuss their future goals. It's all part of the A-TEAAM, a national organization dedicated to mentoring and leadership development.

Othor Cain is the Psych Coordinator for the A-TEAAM. He says it's important that young black males broaden their horizons when it comes to their futures.

"If you ask each one of them what they want to be when they grow up they say, 'I want to be a rapper', 'I want to go into the NFL' or 'I want to get to the NBA'," Cain says.

Wednesday, Cain invited black male nurses from various hospitals and practices to introduce these boys to nursing.

"So we're totally introducing them to something that they had not thought of in terms of their careers," he said. 

Nursing is mostly associated with women says Henry Jackson. Jackson has been a registered nurse for more than 10 years. He says there is a definite stigma.

"I was teased because they said it was a female job," he said. 

Jackson was a police officer before he became a nurse at the age of 38. He says his fellow officers were shocked when he became a nurse. It was just a job. However, they soon changed their minds.

"When we compared salaries, they realized that nursing is a profession," he said.

According to the nurses, nurses coming out of nursing school start at $20 per hour. ER nurses and Intensive Care nurses can make up to six figure salaries

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