When Proviso East students pull up their chairs in Mrs. Piemonte’s class, they are prepared to learn the ways of the world including: constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles upon which laws are founded. They also learn and develop the skills necessary to participate as competent and responsible citizens, and the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict. Last week the students took their studies out of the classroom and into the real world with a field trip to McDonald’s Corporation.
Mrs. Piemonte wanted to show the students how their studies in the classroom apply in the corporate world. She and Jennifer Cohn, senior counsel in the legal department and chair of the Street Law Program, designed a field trip to help inspire students and expose them to various opportunities in law and the workforce.
“The purpose of this trip was to help students learn what law careers are available in the corporate world,” Ms. Piemonte said. “During the field trip to McDonald’s Corporation, the students saw practical examples of real estate lawyers, tort lawyers, and they learned the importance of contracts. They were able to ask questions and be in the company of professionals. They were also able to realize and understand that there is more to law than criminal law and the courtroom.”
Throughout the day, students were divided into groups and participated in seminars with McDonald’s Corporation attorneys. They explored various careers in real estate law, copyright and trademarks, contracts, and tort law. McDonald’s vice president of human resources, Danitra Barnett, served as guest speaker and shared her success story. Barnett began her career as a cashier at McDonald’s while taking business and accounting classes in college. She reinforced the importance of education and professional development.
Students later participated in a mock trial where they acted out the many roles of the court system.
“I participated in the mock trial,” said Proviso East junior Darnell Clark. “I enjoyed the groups and the presentations of the lawyers. This was the first time I’d ever seen this activity. It was a lot of fun as well as educational. I was also very impressed with the McDonald’s Corporation Headquarters and the opportunities that are available in the business.”
McDonald’s Corporation is celebrating 10 years of service to the community though work with local high school students that reinforce interests in business and the study of law. Proviso East civics classes have been a part of this program for seven years.