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    Students become professionals for a day



    Story by Capt. Katherine Ta 

    305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    KAPOLEI, Hawaii – Students at the American Renaissance Academy were treated to one-on-one on-camera interviews with instruction from the 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment June 18th.

    As a college preparatory school with a strong emphasis on the performing arts, the students of the American Renaissance Academy will not only need interviewing skills for college admission, but also for potential interviews as successful artists.

    “I learned something I’m going to use in the future,” said one student, Jaydan. Other students stated that they learned different ways to improve their interview skills and learned not to be shy.

    An Administrative Board Member, Wendy Bayudan, also agreed that this event will have positive lasting effects.

    “The tips and feedback for improvement have not been taken lightly, as I overheard students reflecting and discussing their experience afterwards, and they all have the desire to improve,” said Bayudan.

    The students were broken up into two groups – one middle school group and one high school group.

    To start each session, the members of the 305th MPAD introduced themselves by stating what they do in the military and explained how they have a full-time civilian job. The students proceeded to introduce themselves, and without realizing it, were warming up for their on-camera interviews.

    After the introductions, the Commander of the 305th MPAD, Maj. Melodie Tafao, taught a class on how to conduct on-camera interviews. The students learned the basics – how to look at the interviewer and not the camera, how to avoid filler words and they learned the importance of sitting still (something that is much more difficult for the young students than seasoned adults).

    Following the commander’s instructional portion, each student had the opportunity to conduct an on-camera interview in front of his/her peers. Some students were nervous and it took encouragement from their friends to get them in front of the camera. However, once they were answering the interviewer’s questions, they quickly relaxed.

    The interviews were fictional and the students answered questions as if they were famous professionals in their career of choice. This aspect added a level of fun to the event as some students became professional football players, writers, producers, and artists.

    The Soldiers of the 305th MPAD were impressed at the students’ ability to answer on-the-spot questions about their fictional characters.

    “Each student, even those that initially found themselves uncomfortable, settled into their interviews and found their voice,” stated 1st Sgt. Crista Mack.

    Following each interview, Tafao discussed ways that each person could improve, and also pointed out their strengths. To conclude the class, each student was able to watch themselves on the video and make their own critiques.

    “It was helpful because it showed me how I present myself to other people,” said one of the students, Joey.

    During lunch, the 305th MPAD took the opportunity to spend additional time with the students. It was a casual atmosphere where everyone was able to sit and learn more about each other.

    To finish off the day, Mark Gumtang, the instructor for the day’s physical education and a Physical Therapist Tech, led everyone in a great game of Soccer where the students had an opportunity to really express their personalities. It was a great way to truly build a bond with each other, encourage competition, and just have a little fun.

    “I believe it’s important to instill discipline at a young age and to stress the importance of physical fitness/exercise,” said Gumtang.

    After the vigorous game of outdoor soccer, everyone moved back into the air-conditioned gym where Staff Sgt. Edwin Basa led the students in the Army’s Physical Readiness Training (PRT). All the students got in formation with the Soldiers, stood at attention and followed all the commands. The students had a great time yelling and doing the basic exercises.

    “I think the kids definitely learned a lot, especially from a physical fitness and discipline standpoint, which was apparent during the short PT session,” added Gumtang.

    Overall the mission was a success and was mutually beneficial as “It gave us (305th MPAD) the opportunity to work on our Mission Essential Tasks (METs) such as conducting an interview, write a news story, shooting photographs, and enhancing and transmitting digital images outside a military setting. This engagement also allowed us to reach out to the community and talk to the students and staff about our organization,” according to Tafao.

    Kathy Rust from the ARA admissions also commented on the success of the event.

    “This event had a huge impact – anytime the students are learning something new it is an eye-opener and it brings something different to their routine,” said Rust.



    Date Taken: 06.22.2018
    Date Posted: 06.27.2018 04:01
    Story ID: 282415
    Location: KAPOLEI, HI, US 
    Hometown: KAPOLEI, HI, US

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