The Priory Upper School students have the unique opportunity to explore their career curiosities through one of St. Andrew's Schools' signature programs – Priory in the City. All sophomores, juniors and seniors take classes taught by the school's Director of Career Counseling, Marcie Uehara Herring.
The program prepares young women for the workforce as they learn important career skills such as resume writing and workplace etiquette. Perhaps the most memorable component of the program is the senior internship, which gives students a real taste of life in a variety of professional fields.
On December 11, the Class of 2019 presented their internship experiences to their mentors, parents, the school leadership team and Board members. The crowd enjoyed learning more about the students' internship sites, skills acquired, projects completed, relationships developed with their mentors and about what each girl learned about the profession and herself.
"This is one of my favorite events of the year. We get to witness our courageous seniors sharing their learning with a public audience," Head of School Ruth Fletcher said. "They confronted their fears and asked questions like 'Can I do this?' 'Did I do enough?' 'Will anyone value my work? 'Did I create or make something of use?' 'How will my skillset fit into the world?' 'Will my work help somebody else's life be just a little bit better?'"
We extend a big mahalo to the mentors from the following community partners who provided internships for our students:
- Dr. Jennifer King, Hawai'i Pacific Health Pali Momi Medical Center
- Dr. Keri Swaney, VCA Family Animal Hospital
- Chelsea Patton, Scott Williams and Micah Witty-Oakland, Hawai'i Pacific University Athletics Department
- Deborah Devine-Sherman and Dani Douglass, St. Andrew's Schools
- Jocelyn Kimura, Aloha Medical Vision
- MaryGrace Gayatinea, The Villas
- Kathrine Fast, Ph.D., University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Counseling and Student Development Center
- Krystal Kakimoto, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
"Mrs. Herring is a true career coach and a magician of sorts," Upper School Principal Nichole Field said in her remarks to the students. "She has helped each of you to know yourself a little bit better, helped you discover what you are passionate about, and connected you to experiences that can become a part of your career. This is so important, and many people work their whole lives without having had this kind of coaching."
Herring acknowledged her own mother, who was in the audience at the event, for pushing her to explore her career interests as a youngster.
"Before there was Priory in the City, there was Marcie in the City," she said. She shared that her experiences working in a medical setting – though interesting and educational – helped her to learn that she wanted to take a different career path.
"I am grateful I found my calling as an educator," Herring said. "It is a beautiful process to see students develop their strengths, persevere through challenges and contribute in meaningful ways. Priory in the City is possible because the Board of Trustees and leadership team have an innovative vision, parents trust us, and mentors generously share their time and wisdom."