Members of the YMCA’s Black and Hispanic Achiever’s program honed their communications skills while learning about the Marine Corps during a presentation May 16.
Maj. Shawn Haney, 37, a public affairs officer assigned to Marine Week Chicago, discussed the importance of career success through communication with the course’s students.
“The whole point of Marine Week Chicago is to get the Marines out working with the community, interacting with the people of Chicago,” said Haney, a native of Anderson, S.C. “This was an amazing way to get in there with seventh to 12th graders and put a face to the Marine Corps.”
The program is intended to assist the students to help the achievers with decisions regarding their future and present them with a variety of career options. The Marines were invited to participate in the program because of their experience in the field of communications.
“I really feel that communication is important to everyone no matter what you think you’re going to do in life,” Haney explained. “Hopefully we broadened their horizons a little bit.”
During the program, Haney discussed the multiple ways people express themselves, including body language, writing reports and public speaking. The students also had an opportunity to apply the lessons learned, as each stood in front of the group and gave a brief speech detailing a favorite hobby.
I’m hoping that today they’ve learned there are so many things that can be done with communications,” Haney said. “They may only take one or two things away but I think that’s enough.”
Additionally, the give and take between Haney and the students appeared to dispel myths about the military said Tommie Robinson, a student at Bogan High School.
“You have that perspective that Marines just fight,” explained Robinson. “I just thought the Marine Corps was just fighting and boot camp. Here you get a one on one conversation and you get to know them.”
Overall, the lesson and the total efforts by Marines throughout the week were appreciated by Robinson and his peers.
“I think it’s great that the Marines are giving back to the community,” said Amber Wadlington, 17, a student at Seton Academy. “It was cool to actually talk to them and interact with them.”