Teaching something that should be known

Published 9:22 am Sunday, June 19, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

As we continue to evolve as a country, it seems stupid to have to say it, but here it goes—girls can do anything.

It feels like such a simple statement that should be known without having to be said, but it has been a battle throughout time that still persists to this day.

Whether girls growing up don’t have the belief that they can do something or someone tells them they can’t do it, it’s an issue we continue to try and push into extinction.

Rich coming from a man writing this, right?

But I have perspective in my job that helps me see this on a daily and weekly basis, and last week, it was the Girls Can Construction Camp put on by CTEC, which is part of Shelby County Schools.

In its return for the first time since the pandemic started, the camp allows 15 rising ninth-11th grade girls from Shelby County schools to participate in the camp, which helps them realize they are needed in trade industries and empowers them by showing they have the skills needed to work in the industries.

With just 9 percent of U.S. construction workers being women and the field itself in desperate need of workers constantly, this shows them a possible career path after high school or college.

During the week-long camp, the girls in attendance at the camp got the opportunity to participate in carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding work, getting exposure to the different jobs.

Whether they find a love for it or end up hating it, the camp at least shows them that opportunity is there and exposes them to different possibilities.

They got the opportunity to build a bookcase and a lamp during the camp, while they then welded their creations together.

As the camp went on, their confidence grew, they started to believe in themselves more and gained a greater appreciation for what they can accomplish themselves.

Now, they’re equipped with an understanding of each field whether they take that into their job with them one day or into the real world when it comes to fixing something around them.

On a staff that is majority female, I see on a daily basis just how hard my coworkers have worked to get where they are and showcase their skills.

It’s never too young to start teaching our kids and students what they are capable of with hard work regardless of gender or race.