On Wednesday afternoon as the ice thickened on frozen Island streets, some teenagers played video games or napped while others spent the day laying the groundwork for their futures.

Thanks to the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative’s first annual Job Shadow Day, 18-year-old Anthony Piland, an aspiring pilot, spent the day watching Martha’s Vineyard Airport service manager Colin Ewing hard at work. At day’s end, Anthony walked away not only with a clearer picture of his longterm plans, but also with a pretty cool summer commitment.

“Yeah,” he said, beaming, “they offered me a summer job.”

Anthony, who was dressed in a shirt and tie and looking quite professional, was modest but quietly proud. “It’s really great,” he said. “Because one day I would love to come back for the summers and fly for Cape Air.”

“Oh, Anthony’s thrilled!” said Marianne Larned, founding director of Stone Soup Leadership Institute. “I don’t think his feet have touched ground yet.”

The students concluded the successful day with a reception at Martha’s Vineyard Museum, hosted by its executive director David Nathans. “Welcome back,” he told the students as they filed into a softly-lit main room of the museum to mingle with their mentors. “Some of you might not have been here since the third grade. Feel free to come more often,” he said with a chuckle.

In all, 10 high school students participated in Wednesday’s Shadow Day, an afternoon devoted to linking Island students with mentors in their desired careers. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to develop relationships and knowledge from a wealth of Island professionals,” said Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce executive director Nancy Gardella, “I’m deeply grateful to the members of the Vineyard business community for their enthusiasm and participation.”

“To watch them at such a young age be so articulate is profound,” said Mrs. Larned. “Their dreams for the future keep them strong and give them courage, strength and foundation. And to have others say to them, ‘Wow, I want to help you,’ that’s a dream come true.”

High school seniors Shawna Brown, Shavanae Anderson and Amoy Anderson had shadowed nurse manager of the operating room Barbara Morgan through the halls of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Shawna, who hopes to become a radiologist, even subjected herself to a CAT scan. “It was scary, but so cool,” she said as she gathered her coat alongside her new mentor, Mrs. Morgan. “I’ll definitely be doing it myself one day. We—” she said, referring to her friends Amoy and Shavane, “like technology as well as working with people and really helping people.”

“The girls were great,” added Mrs. Morgan. “They met a lot of people to help encourage them to pursue their dreams. It was a very involved day. But now, they’ve got to go home because they have a test tomorrow.”

Sixteen-year-old Emma HallBilsback, who serves on Governor Patrick’s Youth Council, had spent the day shadowing the Farm Institute’s Jon Previant. “I thought today was really successful,” she said, sitting on a wooden bench in one of the back rooms of the museum. “I learned a lot about leadership — like communication, and that you can’t just sit behind a desk, you have to go out, be part of the field. It was such a great learning experience to see the reality of what’s going to happen when you leave college. The security of that was nice.”

As the youth coordinator of the day, Emma was especially proud of Wednesday’s event and the initiative as a whole. “Through MVYLI we really try to help Island kids figure out what they want to do. We ask you, ‘What’s your goal for six months? A year? Then two years, five, ten, and then your dream for your whole life, the Island, the world.’ ”

The goal-oriented young leader already has, of course, some intentions for next year’s Job Shadow Day. “I’d like to double the participation,” she said. “Or triple it.”