Knowing since she was a youngster that she wanted to make a career out of dancing, Jenni Waters, 2009 South High School (SHS) graduate, majored in dance performance at college. She also found a love for football while dancing with the SHS Peppers at fall competitions. Now she combines the two by dancing professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Additionally, her interest in journalism led her to a full time job at a sports radio station. Jenni states, “I’d love to continue moving toward sports broadcasting in the future.”
So how did Jenni get to this exciting point in her career? Early steps in high school included Jenni dancing with and becoming captain of the SHS Peppers; discovering an appreciation for writing and designing, she could be found in the yearbook and newspaper classroom before and after school.
In high school, Jenni’s career goal was to be a professional dancer at Disney World and on cruise ships. “I really wanted to find a job that I was passionate about, but also be able to help people and make an impact,” reports Jenni. “Now as a KC Chiefs Cheerleader I get to dance at the games and actively work with our community, youth, and military.”
Pursuit of her dreams requires a high level of commitment and motivation. Jenni explains, “I am a Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader, receptionist at a sports radio station, a dance teacher, and now in the process of getting certified to teach Pilates. I work multiple jobs because I have many different interests, and each of my jobs matches my priorities. All of my jobs also help me to save money for the future.”
Jenni’s advice to high school students is: “Have an open mind. I was so completely set on one specific career, that I limited myself from other options. It is important to focus on your passions, but also to allow new ones to enter your life as you continue to grow, mature, and blossom. Also, always continue to work hard towards your goals; be perseverant . You may not reach your dream career right out of high school, but that doesn’t mean you give up. It took me a few years of trial and error, failing and getting back up, but I am now well on my path of working in jobs I am passionate about. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t happen for you right away; they will happen when it is the right time.”
Megan Vaupel, a CHS 2006 graduate works at SeaWorld San Antonio. Currently working with pinnipeds (seal, sea lions and otters) she has also worked with orca, dolphins, and walruses as well. In her internships she worked with birds and manatees. Now a senior trainer, Megan continued her post-secondary education at Butler University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (Behavioral) and a minor in biology. Who knew this is a career option for Psychology majors!
While in high school, Megan swam in the South HS pool every year, which became a major factor in her passing the SeaWorld swim test and acquiring her job.