Civic Day Engages Trumbull High School Students in Community Service

WARREN, Ohio — Trumbull County high school students got a glimpse of what it’s like to serve the community during the Trumbull County Civic Day Friday.

Partnered with first responders, elected and appointed officials, school administrators and others, students spent the day learning what it takes to make the civic sector work.

The day gave three students – Hadyn Mahan, 18, senior at Bristol High School; Ronald Lame, 18, senior at Mineral Ridge High School; and Navaeh Thomas, 17, junior at Girard High School – a lot to think over. Mahan shadowed Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda. Lame was paired with his principal, Joe Stevens. And Thomas spent the day Brian O’Hara, superintendent of her school district.

Learning about local government, Mahan was given insight on what commissioners’ roles are and what different offices do. “It was neat,” he said. Already looking into career paths navigating toward leadership, Mahan enjoyed learning some of the “finer details,” which reinforced his decision, he said.

Lame learned about the process of preparing student schedules during his day with Stevens. “It’s interesting,” he said. Although Lame plans to pursue business and accounting, he said he has given teaching or guidance counseling a thought, too. “Maybe it’s something I visit down the road.”

Thomas helped organize O’Hara’s calendar for the next school year. “He showed me where the bus garage was, where all the offices are.” She said she’ll keep in mind everything she learned from O’Hara in mind.

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague

“I’m definitely going to take his guidance and what he taught me about the schools and how the town works, how everything comes back to him,” she said. “It’s something I’m interested in.”

Jenny Pancake, curriculum instruction supervisor at Trumbull County Educational Service Center, explained that students followed their civic employee for the morning, then met up for a luncheon with a keynote speech by Ohio State Treasurer Robert Sprague.

“I want to talk to the kids about the importance of public service,” said Sprague. 

About 100 students from 18 schools around the county participated. It’s important to get the conversation going with students about civic careers. Pancake said.

“It’s hands-on learning that the kids aren’t going to get in a traditional setting at school,” she said. “They get to go out, see real life, talk with people who live and breathe this every single day.”

When Sprague took the podium at the luncheon, he gave the students some advice: Say yes.

“Somebody offers to send you to incident command training? Say yes. Those opportunities provide other opportunities down the road,” Sprague said. The skills learned by jumping at opportunity “become handy” throughout life, he said.

Pictured at top: Students Hadyn Mahan, Ronald Lame and Navaeh Thomas participated in Trumbull County Civic Day on Friday, shadowing civil servants from around the county.

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