05/18/04 — Workforce Investment Act Out-of-School Youth Program banquet

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Workforce Investment Act Out-of-School Youth Program banquet

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 18, 2004 1:59 PM

A college program that helps high school dropouts remove some of the obstacles to education recently recognized some of its outstanding participants.

Wayne Community College honored students, teachers and community partners for 2003-2004 during a Workforce Investment Act Out-of-School Youth Program banquet.

Program Director Denece P. Berry repeatedly remarked on how the award recipients had overcome personal and outside obstacles to continue their education, enter the world of work and begin to participate in their communities.

Latoria McClarin of Dudley and Robert Royal of Mount Olive were voted the Outstanding Students of the Year by their fellow students.

Keisha Karr and Alan Spurling, both of Goldsboro, earned Outstanding Achievement Awards because they had "gone above and beyond many, many times," said Ms. Berry.

Work Experience Students Victoria B. Atkinson, Christy Kearney, Pavielle Ingram, Ebony Logan, Latoria McClarin, Tinesha McKeller, Lorena Perez and Tazuunear Williams were recognized, as well as those designated WIA Outstanding Work Experience Students Virgil Coley, Nicole Fleming, Keisha Karr, Vanessa Scott and Latoya Stover.

The WIA Occupational Skill Training Award went to Lorena Perez.

Ms. Berry said WIA Participation Award winners were always willing to do whatever was asked of them and things beyond regular schoolwork. Recipients were Donna Davila, Christy Kearney and Ashley Reaves. Outstanding Participation Awards went to Keisha Karr, Vanessa Scott, Alan Spurling and Nakia Worrell.

Also recognized were the program's Adult High School graduates Victoria B. Atkinson, Keisha Bowman, Joshua Casteen, Virgil Coley, Miesha Donaldson, Danielle Felton, Lynette Greathouse, Amber Jones, Keisha Karr, Danielle Lewis, Tonenetta McKnabb, Nicole Milliken, Jonte' Morgan, Lorena Perez, Robert Royal, Juana Salazar, Vanessa Scott, Alan Spurling, Latoya Stover, Nakia Worrell, and Jazmin Wuntke; and GED recipients Pamela Batts, Michael Best, Jr, Nichole Fleming, Latoya Franklin and Lillian Tucker.

Earning scholar's and honor's list status in the Adult High School program this school year were Keisha Bowman, fall 2003; Donna Davila, spring 2004; Danielle Felton, summer 2003; Jonte Morgan, fall 2003; Zamora Nash, fall 2003; Laura Pelt, spring 2004; Ashley Reaves, summer and fall 2003; Juana Salazar, spring 2004; Vanessa Scott, summer 2003; Alan Spurling, fall and spring 2004; Terryl Underwood, summer and fall 2003; Tazuanear Williams, fall 2003; Tenea Williams, spring 2004; Nakia Worrell, fall 2003; and Jazmin Wuntke; fall 2003.

In announcing the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award, WIA Youth Caseworker Lea Thornton noted that "behind every successful student is a teacher." The winners of this new award, voted on by students Lisa Phelps and reading instructor Penny Nelson, tied for Adult High School, and Donna Moore for The Learning Center Lab.

Ms. Phelps was also the evening's speaker. She said she was supposed to be a motivational speaker but told the students that "none of you need me to motivate you; you are here against greater odds than most of us."

She said her students had inspired her and that she believed in them.

"Life is not a team sport," she said. "In the end, you succeed because of your own efforts."

Local employers who participated in the program were also recognized, among them Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County, Goldsboro office of the Employment Security Commission of N.C., Goldsboro Family Y and Waynesborough Historical Village.

Fourteen day care providers and two transportation providers were also honored.

The Workforce Investment Act Out-of-School Youth Program, run by the WCC Basic Skills Department, is a federal program that enrolls economically disadvantaged youth ages 16 through 21 and provides assistance with child care, transportation, tuition, fees, supplies, and books while they work on secondary education and employment training.

Students may stay in the program until they reach their goals, as long as they make progress.

The program not only aids students in earning a high school diploma but also prepares them for careers and further education. Each person completes a job skills assessment and interest evaluation then develops a strategy to reach those goals.

An occupational training component gives participants technical skills training and funds to take certification classes when necessary.

Participants develop job skills through short-term work experiences. The program also helps students find year-round and summer employment and encourages them to take on leadership roles through community service opportunities.

To learn more about the WIA Out-of-School Youth Program, contact Wayne Community College's Basic Skills Department at 735-5151.