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Jones High School Students Visit Lockheed Mentors at Work

Courtesy of Orange County Public Schools

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Lockheed Martin Test Engineers Patrick Tyer (far right) and Keith Thompson (second from left) teach Jones High School students how to set up a computer network.

Jones High Junior Joel Jeremie has big plans for his future: becoming a chief executive officer of a company. He recently received some insight on how to achieve his goal when he and 14 other Jones students visited Lockheed Martin's Enterprise Information Systems facility in East Orange County.

The company hosted the students as part of its partnership with the school. Lockheed Martin provides more than 20 mentors who meet weekly on the Jones campus with their mentees. On this particular occasion, however, the students had the opportunity to visit their mentors at work and learn more about the services provided by Lockheed Martin.

Before they toured the facility, they heard from business leaders about the importance of academic achievement. Douglas Ash, Lockheed Martin's vice president of IT Solutions, said, "Seek and find ways to grow your education. I commend you for taking an important step in that process by developing a relationship with a mentor."

Ray Gilley, president of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, also was on hand to welcome the Jones High students. When he was asked by the group how he attained his position, he offered this advice: "Begin by doing a good job in the position you already have. Be a team player and someone of good character. And always ask the question, 'Is this the best job that can be done?'"

The Enterprise Information Systems is one of three major divisions of Lockheed Martin. It provides technology-based information services to the corporation's 600 worldwide sites, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Jones High students received a "behind the scenes" look at how the Enterprise Service Center delivers those services, and they learned how to set up a small computer network in the Enterprise Computing Test Lab.

Thomas Warner, a network engineer at Lockheed Martin, said it's exciting being Joel Jeremie's mentor. "It's a good feeling because I'm giving back to the community," he said. "I actually feel like I'm helping Joel, providing a positive role model for him." His mentee returns the compliment. "Tom's a great person and he helps me with what I need," Jeremie explained. "I learn from him, but he also learns from me."

Jones High Principal Lorenzo Phillips said more than 200 mentors now volunteer their time at the school, even showing up to cheer on students at sporting events and extracurricular activities. "That kind of support is simply invaluable," he said.