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Leaving The Nest--Seniors Explain How High School Shaped Their Career Choices

Senior Jack Howard (far left) belongs to the FCHS AFJROTC Color Guard alongside Senior Xander Dobbins, Junior Eric Dooley, and Senior Chaz Cook. (Courtesy Photo)

By Riley Cockram--Eagle Staff Writer

Graduating high school is a big change for everyone. Some people go to college, some people join the workforce, and even the military! There's all types of choices people want to make. A few Eagle seniors shared what they plan to do after they graduate.

Senior Jack Howard, a member of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) here, plans to go into the military after he graduates.

“I want to join the military mostly to follow the family tradition. My father and grandfather both served in the Armed forces, and it only felt right to follow them,” Howard began.

There's six branches of the military to choose from, whether it be the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or the Space Force. Howard indicated that the Air Force is his choice based on his AFJROTC experience.

There are many reasons people like the military, whether it is just to serve the country or earn a free education.

For Howard, the appeal is “the organization and professionalism. I admire the military's ability to receive a task, and execute the objective with quick, efficient ability with few mistakes."

Howard’s not in it for the money. College may be part of his plans down the road, but not for a while.

“Maybe someday I'll buckle down and get a degree, but as of now, no,” Howard shared.

Joining the military seems to have its perks, but to some, it’s very hard. Chiefs and Commanders work their soldiers to the bone, and send them all across the world.

“The hardest challenge I believe I'll have to face is adjusting to the military lifestyle,” he explained. “After living in rural Franklin County and going to school for 14 years, a strict routine will be quite the change.”

Howard’s future will include a life of service and dedication. Senior Hailey Danielle also plans a life of service, but in a different outlet.

Senior Hailey Danielle shows off her makeup skills. (Courtesy Photo)

When she graduates, she is going to be a cosmetologist.

Danielle explained that she’s had an interest in art since childhood, but her current medium is makeup.

“When I was a little kid I was very artistic but I can't draw very well, and paint gives me a headache,” Danielle shared. “Makeup provided me a way to let my brain feel free while still being proud of my own work."

For her, makeup is more than a step in her daily routine, but an opportunity for expression and connection.

“It can be used to spread messages, to inspire others,” Danielle described. “I use it when interning a first grade class to get closer to the students. I do my makeup in their favorite color every day, and it can help with self confidence. I want to be able to support myself and my family while doing something I love and I'm proud of.”

Danielle said her favorite makeup to work with is “eyeliner and eyeshadow. The eyes are the window to the soul, so why not emphasize them? Plus, it’s super colorful and can match any outfit.”

However, this dream isn’t all fun and games. Cosmetology can be quite technical.

“Doing people’s nails is really difficult and I'm not super excited about that part,” she revealed. “Blue eyeshadow [isn’t my favorite either]. It’s hard to blend and the formula is super difficult to work with.”

Additionally, it doesn't help that there aren't any cosmetology classes on campus.

“I wish FC had a cosmetics course,” Danielle said. “Lots of FC students want that as their future and the amount that it would benefit the students would make it worth it.”

Future Veterinarian and Senior Calista Pentecost has not had this problem because a veterinary science course has been offered here for about 12 years. She has been able to take high school courses to better prepare her for veterinary medicine and fulfill a lifelong dream.

Senior Calista Pentecost studies in class to prepare for her future career. (Photo by Riley Cockram)

“I want to be a veterinarian because ever since I was little I have taken all kinds of animals in,” Pentecost says. “I love everything about animals. I couldn't just pick one…they all act in different ways. You never know what they are able to do.”

Pentecost has been able to explore her passion for animals through the high school’s animal science classes.

“My class can give students an idea of what things they will need to know and do in order to obtain a job in the veterinary field, and this may help them to further decide their future," Kasey Arrington, Veterinary Science teacher explained.

Arrington continued by describing the importance of veterinarians out in the world.

“First of all, some animal diseases are zoonotic, meaning that they can spread to humans, so veterinarians can aid human doctors in preventing the spread of these diseases," she added. "Their health must be maintained for the consumer safety and producer efficiency and profits."

Of course, there’s also pet care and health maintenance, and this is the side that interests Pentecost.

“I am trying to accomplish something I love doing and that is helping animals," she shared. "There should always be someone willing to help.”

Howard wants to serve the country, Danielle wants to boost people’s confidence, and Pentecost wants to heal animals. These jobs have different purposes, but the same importance as shown. Some seniors want to graduate and get rich or even become famous. These three seniors just want to help in any way they can.

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