Job Corps centers nationwide honor recent grads

NATIONWIDE (October 31, 2013) — “The American Dream is neither material nor is it available to a certain class or race of people. It is simply a chance to do what was not done the first time around.”

HJCC Center Director Luis Cerezo, right, presents an award of appreciation to HJCC Commencement speaker State Representative Kionne L. McGhee. Congressman Joe Garcia was also in attendance.

HJCC Center Director Luis Cerezo, right, presents an award of appreciation to HJCC Commencement speaker State Representative Kionne L. McGhee. Congressman Joe Garcia was also in attendance.

These words, spoken by State Representative Klonee L. McGeen during Homestead Job Corps Center’s recent graduation ceremony, summarize the efforts of ResCare’s Job Corps centers to transform the futures of their students and their communities.

ResCare Job Corps Centers joined 125 Job Corps centers nationwide to celebrate the third annual National Job Corps Commencement Day. With the help of guest speakers and trail-blazing students, the ceremonies are held to celebrate students’ accomplishments and get them excited about their futures.

Family members, recent graduates, employer partners and prominent political figures within the area attend the ceremonies each year to recognize the investments students are making in their futures.

Homestead’s passion for students was echoed that day at Edison Job Corps Center in New Jersey. The commencement emphasized to Job Corps graduates that this was the first step in reaching their career goals.

Lee Vaouli, who was awarded with the title of salutatorian of his graduating class, has set high expectations to not only become an office administrator through his newly developed skill set, but to continue to learn and develop his skills as he attends Middlesex County College.

Graduates at the Edison Job Corps Center

Graduates at the Edison Job Corps Center commencement ceremony join together in a laugh as they wait to receive their diplomas.

“No matter how old we are, we should constantly be learning. Now, it’s time to move forward to the next step,” Mr. Vaouli said in his address to his student body. “Now, it’s time to show people what Job Corps has done for us and the skills we have acquired.”

Edison’s Mayor Antonia Ricigliano attended the ceremony and said, “You are well on your way to successful careers and lives.”

Read more about the inspirational story of Mr. Vaouli and the commencement ceremony held in Edison.

ResCare’s Blue Ridge Job Corps Center also held a ceremony to honor their new graduates featuring special guest speaker U.S. Senator Mark Warner.

The ceremony included a processional followed by student speakers. Graduating student Mickaala Rodriguez gave such a moving speech that Sen. Warner’s planned speech for the evening became an impromptu speech. The senator spoke from his heart about the admiration he had for the graduates’ determination to do great things in their community.

Blue Ridge Job Corps Center graduates

Blue Ridge Job Corps Center graduates pose in their caps and gowns with Center Director Carol Parsons and keynote speaker Senator Mark Warner.

Blue Ridge Job Corps Center Director Carol Parsons has built a center that is guided by ResCare’s mission to “assist people to reach their highest level of independence” by challenging students to be their very best. It is obvious the center is living out that mission. Blue Ridge is ranked as the top center out of 125 in the centers nationwide.

“The Blue Ridge Graduation ceremony was outstanding!” Education and Training Services Operations Officer Steve Hendricks said. “The culture that Carol and her team at Blue Ridge Job Corps Center have built was on full display.”

Read more about the graduation ceremony and key-note speaker Senator Mark Warner’s heart-warming impromptu speech.
Author: Moriah Dietrich