Earlier this week, the Chiefs hosted 30 students from Grandview High School for a tour and a chance to learn about the departments within the Chiefs organization. The students visited The Center for Sports Medicine at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex, Arrowhead Stadium and the Chiefs Practice Facility to learn the responsibilities of some of the employees.
The students are participating in a program with PREP-KC, a local non-profit organization that works to improve the education of Kansas City's urban students by providing resources to prepare students for college and careers.
"We were very impressed by PREP-KC's efforts to offer programs and services to high school students to encourage them pursue post-secondary educational opportunities and also PREP-KC's proven success rates," Anne Scharf, Chiefs Director of Foundation and Development, noted. "This is the first time we've had a school visit the organization in this capacity and we hope they were positively motivated through this experience."
PREP-KC works with schools throughout the Kansas City region to identify the goals of the district and how they can help support and grow their programs.
"Often times, in urban high schools, students don't know about all of the careers that are available, so they don't necessarily care about what's going on in school and they don't think it's relevant," Beth McCarthy, Senior Program Associate with PREP-KC, said. "Talking with the Chiefs is a chance for these students to see the different career paths that exist and it starts to raise their own aspirations and give them motivation to stay focused on school."
The group of students rotated through stations, including Stadium Operations, Marketing and Sports Medicine, to learn from the different departments.
"We talked to the students about the various components that make up the Stadium Operations Department for the Kansas City Chiefs," Ryan Smart, Chiefs Customer Relations Representative, explained. "We explained how the department works around the clock to put on an event, how we try to provide guests with a great experience and how safety is the top priority."
The students were also given example challenges and asked to prepare a presentation on how they would handle the situation.
"We gave them an example and asked them to come up with a solution," Michelle Montgomery, Chiefs Marketing and Events Coordinator commented. "Our example was that the Grandview Bulldogs football team was having trouble filling the stadium, students aren't interested in the game and it hasn't been a good experience. So, we asked them, how would you improve the fan experience, increase awareness and sell more tickets? They all came up with different and unique ideas and presented it to the group."
This exercise helped challenge the students to think outside the box, along with pushing them to work together as a team and find a solution.
They also learned about sports surgeries, athletic trainer responsibilities, sports medicines and the different areas related to sports therapy that they could potentially get involved in down the road.
"During the time spent at my station, the group learned about the different types of sports medicines, concussions, exams we perform, and they've been asking a lot of great questions," Dr. Barbara Semakula at The University of Kansas Hospital, explained. "I had them doing a lot of hands on activities too, we passed around the surgical instruments, teaching them what its like to be an assistant, showed them the machines; I think they really learned a lot from it."
Following the discussions, the group had lunch in the Chiefs cafeteria and then headed over to Arrowhead Stadium for a tour.
Overall, the goal of the day was to show these students the different career options, the responsibilities of those within the Chiefs and the path to maintaining that career.
"This group of students expressed that they have an interest in sports, so this is a great way to expose them to careers in the sports industry," McCarthy said. "It was incredible for these students to experience this and it will now help them in their classrooms as they work towards these different careers."