Officer Nancy Mercedes first became interested in becoming a police officer when she was in middle school. Like the seventh and eighth graders who attended last week’s Career Day at Carl Sandburg Middle School, she, too, enjoyed listening to presentations by local police officers when she was in school.
An employee of the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority (WMAA), Mercedes was one of several representatives of the organization that has long partnered with Sandburg. She and Peter Kosanovich showed students some of the gear that S.W.A.T. team members would use, while Human Resources liaison Toni Williams talked to students about how they can find jobs with WMAA and what types of jobs are available.
Firefighters Mike Levesque and Eric Patterson, also from WMAA, said that you have to be physically fit for their job, and that while it’s not an extremely hard job, it’s hard to be good at it.
“We want to be good at what we do,” Levesque said.
Representing a different type of profession was Jerry Frazier, a minister from Groveton Baptist Church. When eighth-grader Payne Edington asked him how he got interested in being a minister, Frazier said, “I was called by God. I got involved in the church when I was in high school and college.”
Physical therapist Keri Riddell said she became involved in her profession after her grandmother had surgery.
Joe Arleth, representing the Navy, said, “I enjoy the Navy because I like change. It’s different every year.”
Students also had a chance to meet with “Jeb,” the canine team member there with Fairfax County bomb technicians Tom Eggers, Joe Clerkin and SRO Marvin Goodley.