Hampton Roads Sailor Speaks at Indianapolis School

Story Number: NNS110824-21Release Date: 8/24/2011 5:18:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/EXW) Joshua B. Bruns, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

INDIANAPOLIS (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) joined other Sailors from different Navy backgrounds to speak with almost 300 children at Brookside Elementary School in Indianapolis Aug. 19.

"After the students were told the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the other Sailors and I talked about our own professions," said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (AW) Andrea Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt. "The kids seemed really excited to hear from us and it was a lot of fun describing the details of being an aviation ordnanceman in the United States Navy."

The attending parents and faculty said they were impressed with the wide variety of occupations the Navy has.

"The idea that the Navy is so much more than Sailors running around their boats is what we're trying to get across. We want the kids to know that they can be a Sailor, but also be a police officer or a communications expert or one of many other jobs," said Julie Bakehorn, Brookside Elementary principal. "Some of these kids are really just mesmerized."

The school and the Navy were brought together for the event through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana.

"We were working with the Navy to do something for Navy Week and decided to call our friends at Brookside Elementary," said Darcy Polymer-Shultz, Big Brothers Big Sisters interim chief operating officer. "It's a chance for the students to learn about a great career choice for their future and learn the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics when looking into the Navy as a future career choice."

Guest speaker Capt. Charles "Chuck" Lakota, Naval Station Crane commanding officer, spoke with the kids about his own successes with the Navy and how large a part STEM played in his career.

"Our Navy is in competition with the whole world for the best of the best, and we need the best and the brightest to be our future leaders," said Capt. Lakota. "We need to engage with young men and women at an early age. This is a great opportunity for them and for us."

Sparking the kid's interest from her opening line, "Who here has ever played 'Call of Duty'?", Jefferson went on to discuss her specialty: Navy ordnance.

"At the very end, the kids were allowed to ask the Sailors questions and I liked that they had follow up questions about naval bombs and what I do with them," said Jefferson. "I think the entire thing was a success and I feel like we've definitely got a few more up-and-coming future Navy Sailors in Indianapolis."

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

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