February 1, 2010


Girls learn about health and career choices

More than 100 sixth- through eighth-graders attend 9th annual Girls Day Out at college

HealthJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
From left, Samantha Robbins, 11, of Homer, and Jade Hendricks, 10, of Tully, learn yoga from SUNY Cortland instructor Shirley Cahill, far right, during Girls Day Out 2010. The Saturday event was sponsored by the YWCA of Cortland and SUNY Cortland Athletics.

Staff Reporter

A stream of eager 12-year-old girls were handcuffed by Cortland Police Officer Debra Barber at the ninth annual Girls Day Out at SUNY Cortland Saturday.
The girls then happily walked away from Barber’s table with yellow “Police Line Do Not Cross” tape wrapped around their torsos.
The event, intended to introduce girls to possible career paths and various sports, drew about 140 sixth- to eighth-grade girls from area schools.
The event was co-sponsored by the Cortland YWCA and themed “Best Bones Forever,” based on the national theme of “Stay Strong, Play On.”
Barber, dressed in uniform, told the girls she likes her job because it involves helping people solve problems and being there for them on their worst days.
Tully sixth-grader Maurysha Cuttino, who walked with the police tape wrapped around her stomach, said, “I will keep (police work) in mind for my future because it seems exciting what you do.”
Cuttino said she liked what Barber said about her job being about helping keep kids safe and showing them “what to do and what not to do.”
SUNY Cortland Assistant Athletic Director Tracy Granozio said the event encourages girls to try new sports and also stresses healthy lifestyles.
The girls played volleyball, did some gymnastic stunts and at around noon several of them were looking forward to a swim later in the day.
Homer Elementary School Sixth-grader Lauren Hoffman was looking forward to swimming.
But Hoffman also enjoyed the portion of the event designed to introduce girls to different career choices.
Hoffman talked with Cortland Mayor Susan Feiszli.
“I liked the mayor because she has certain responsibilities,” Hoffman said, adding that when she grows up she wants to be a lawyer because her grandfather was one.
At the table for lawyers, local lawyer Kristen Snyder talked to the girls about her job, telling them about how many years of school it requires, how it is “fun” to argue your case before a judge, and avoiding direct questions about how high the salary is.
Another popular station was manned by Rebeccah La Porca and Katie Morgan, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES medical assistant students.
Morgan and La Porca showed the youngsters how to poke a needle into a “vein” in a fake arm that was attached to an IV bag with red colored solution. The girls watched in amazement as the medical assistants poked a “vein” and fake blood spurted into a vial.
Local physician Nancy Sternfeld showed the girls how to feel for different pulses on their body and shone flashlights in their eyes to demonstrate how pupils dilate.
Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo volunteers at the YWCA and teaches geography at SUNY Cortland, so she said she was there in a dual capacity.
As Johnston-Anumonwo went around the room taking pictures of girls at the various stations, she commented on the large turnout, saying that more people came this year than last.
“It is really good the college can use its facilities for the community,” Johnston-Anumonwo said.
Sixth-grader Tara Daley of Homer Elementary School said that one day she wants to be a “vet that takes care of every animal.”
Kim Buttino, a registered nurse at Cortland Regional Medical Center, told girls about how she delivers babies and cares for the elderly as part of her job.
Buttino said many girls asked her about being a nurse because they are themselves considering the career or have mothers who are nurses.
“I tell them being a nurse is not just a hospital, bedside job. There is such a huge area and so much variety,” Buttino said. She mentioned to the girls that nurses can work on cruise ships or at schools or in offices handling paperwork instead of blood.


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