Bella DeMonica keeps job shadowing running during pandemic

Bella+DeMonica+works+on+an+assignment+for+the+medical+academy.+%28M.+Mize%29

Bella DeMonica works on an assignment for the medical academy. (M. Mize)

Mackx Mize

Everybody has a passion and for senior Bella DeMonica, it is helping others. For her, the medical academy has helped her explore and grow as a student and person.

Within the medical academy, there are job shadows, a program that allows students to explore different careers they might be interested in. Inductees have an opportunity to go observe a professional and learn what they do within their job.

In the midst of COVID-19, though, the medical academy ran into problems. They could no longer safely run the job shadowing program. Luckily, DeMonica had a solution. 

“We get on Zoom with a medical professional, and they tell us about their profession and walk us through what a day might look like,” DeMonica said. 

Similar to how pre-med students were learning throughout COVID, she thought it would be a good addition for students at HHS. She emailed Renae St. Clair, the head of the medical academy, on a Friday afternoon. But the response was not what she was hoping for. 

“It scared me because I felt like I couldn’t control it,” St. Clair said. “I’m always overprotective and I had no idea what some of these doctors were going to say and do, and I didn’t want anything bad to happen to my students, so I was initially hesitant.” 

But St. Clair recognized the opportunity being opened up for the students, and even though she did have some hesitation, she knew it was a good opportunity to learn. 

“Talking to professionals, people who are smarter than you, knowing you have room to learn and grow, pushed me,” DeMonica said. 

Not only has the virtual job shadowing program allowed for students to learn about professions during the pandemic, but it also gave comfort to students and something to look forward to. 

“I felt like I had a set thing to do every week, and a little community when things were so crazy,” DeMonica said. 

For DeMonica, job shadowing will be something that she will never forget, and through a crazy time, she used her skills and passion to help others by bringing a thriving virtual program to Huntley High School.