"You guys rescue people if they're in a big storm and a small boat," a sixth-grade girl tells Lt. Cmdr. Susan Workman.
Workman and Lt. Stacie Fain, both of the Coast Guard in Juneau, visited Floyd Dryden Middle School last week as part of a series that brings professional women into the school. The two work in the Coast Guard office that coordinates searches and rescues for Alaska.
The Juneau Women's Council sponsors the program "to give the middle school students some new views of women in the workplace," said Eleanor Vinson, the council's coordinator for the program.
"It seems like by high school a lot of girls know what they want to do. We wanted to catch girls before they made up their mind," she said.
"What's cool is there are careers here," teacher Sande Walter told the officers. "The kids need to hear that."
Fain, a helicopter pilot, showed a model of a Jayhawk helicopter and passed around her flight suit, helmet and some flight check lists.
Workman and Fain told the students they have college degrees, which are required for officers.
Students asked about their worst missions and whether they had ever been scared. "Yeah, I've flown in some pretty bad weather and it's scary," Fain told them.
A boy asked if she had ever just froze during a mission.
"No, that's the bad thing," Fain said.