Pittsfield- Last Friday Pittsfield High School sophomore Kayla McNeice learned what it takes to be a Berkshire County legislator by spending the day with State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) as a participant in Junior Achievement’s Job Shadow Day. McNeice accompanied Downing to various meetings throughout the City of Pittsfield as he carried out his day-to-day business as state Senator of the Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin District.
“Kayla McNeice is a bright, engaged student taking an active interest in state government. I hope that the people she met and the experiences she had throughout the day fueled her interest in serving her community,” said Downing.
McNeice’s interest in politics led her to seek the job shadow experience with Downing. Anticipating that her day would lead to a better understanding of state politics, McNeice also hoped to see what priorities occupy his calendar during a typical work day in the district.
McNeice discovered that city and state leaders regularly meet to pair resources and expertise to further the priorities of the region. She learned about many of the economic development initiatives to revitalize Pittsfield’s downtown and the necessary collaboration between state and local government to make these changes happen.
Reflecting on her day with the Senator, McNeice said, “I was impressed as I watched Senator Downing evaluate what the people in his district need. I learned that there are many different opinions presented to him on a daily basis, and saw that he truly does his best to understand every person’s point of view when approaching the many issues that affect his district.”
Job Shadow Day is a program through Junior Achievement Worldwide designed to provide academically motivating activities that give students a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how the skills they learn in the classroom directly relate to careers they are interested in pursuing. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. Junior Achievement offers educational programs that focus on three key areas: entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy. Today, over four million students in the United States are served, with an additional 3.5 million students served by centers in 114 other countries worldwide.
Caption: Senator Benjamin B. Downing and Junior Achievement Job Shadow Kayla McNeice prepare to attend another meeting in Downing’s district office.