Thursday, June 8, 2017

Do you believe in MAGIC? Camp shows girls new career opportunities

The Magic campers show off the mirrors they made while visiting Home Depot on Wednesday.
There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to learning about construction and transportation careers, and for 25 young women attending this year’s MAGIC (Mentoring a Girl in Construction) Camp, they have been able to experience that excitement first-hand.

The week-long MAGIC Camp provides high school girls ages 14 or older the chance to learn about trade skill occupations such as carpentry, safety, electrical and highway construction. This year’s group of campers had the chance to learn from women who have been finding success in these careers.

KDOT's Tammi Clark explains how road surfaces are tested during the Magic Campers' visit to the KDOT Materials Lab in Topeka on Tuesday. 
KDOT Civil Rights Administrator Doria Watson said that it is important to help these young women learn about job opportunities in previously non-traditional fields.

Magic Campers learn how to create their own mirrors while visiting Home Depot.

“The camp gives students self-confidence as they explore new career possibilities they may not have considered before,” Watson said.

Trinity Dillehunt, a sophomore from Topeka, said that she was inspired to come to MAGIC camp because it focuses on women’s empowerment.

Magic Campers create their own bird house rain gauges on their first day of camp. 
“We can do the same things that guys can do,” Dillehunt said. “I want to be an EMT first responder flight nurse. I want to be able to take care of the patient until the air ambulance arrives and during the flight.”

Savannah Buckley, who recently graduated high school from Topeka, said that it just made sense that she would come to MAGIC camp.

“I have always enjoyed doing stuff with my hands and building things,” Buckley said. Her favorite part of camp was getting to know the other girls and finding out what their dream jobs are.

The Magic Campers visit BNSF Railraod on Tuesday. 
Claire Westfall, a senior from Topeka, said that part of the reason she came to MAGIC camp was to learn about what her mom does for a living.

“My mom works for KDOT and she talked about how I would be touring around the areas where she worked and learn about her background,” Westfall said. “It sounded really interesting.”

Magic Campers visit the Air Combat Museum at Forbes Field and learn about aviation. 
Throughout the week the campers have visited various work places, including the Air Combat Museum at Forbes Field on Monday.
Te’raiya Jones, a junior from Topeka, said that she wants to be able to use the skills she has learned at MAGIC camp to grow as a person and to help others who need to be encouraged in the work field.

On Tuesday, the campers visited the KDOT materials lab where they learned about testing asphalt and concrete, how sign paint is made, how rebar strength is tested other areas of the transportation construction field.

Nicole Carter, KDOT Concrete Engineering Associate, explained the importance of Engineering to the campers.

“The chairs that you are all sitting in were designed by an engineer,” Carter said. “Every structure that you see was designed by an engineer. Engineering is a big deal. Our job is to keep everyone safe.”

Magic Campers visit Topeka Metro and learn about different modes of transportation in the City of Topeka.
The campers also visited the BNSF Railroad, Home Depot and Topeka Metro. The rest of the week they will have the opportunity to visit Habitat for Humanity, and Victor L. Phillips Company. The last day of MAGIC camp is tomorrow.

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