Homestead community supports Job Corps student learning

Masonry instructor Terry Devine, far right, and students David Person, far left, and Joshua T. Jones, prepare to lay bricks at the Veteran’s Memorial in Losner Park in Homestead.

Masonry instructor Terry Devine, far right, and students David Person, far left, and Joshua T. Jones, prepare to lay bricks at the Veteran’s Memorial in Losner Park in Homestead.

HOMESTEAD, FL (March 21, 2014) – Developing valuable skills, building up the youth of America and creating leaders are three core values that undergird the Job Corps mission. Homestead Job Corps Center demonstrated these values recently as masonry students paved the way in honor of those who have served our country while others took on the Toastmasters’ challenge in communication and leadership development.

The Homestead Job Corps Center Masonry Class added six new bricks to the Veterans’ Memorial in Losner Park in honor of four Soldiers and Marines who died in the line of duty, and two Navy veterans.

Under the direction of their instructor, Terry Devine, masonry students have been responsible for laying all the engraved bricks at the memorial for the past six years. The class has also laid pavers in front of the adjacent Seminole Theatre along with other work in the community.

The students’ work caught the eye of the Florida Pioneer Museum in Florida City and the museum now plans to use Mr. Devine’s class on the construction of a storage facility for historical artifacts.

The students’ hard work didn’t stop with the brick laying being done by the masonry students. Ten other Homestead Job Corps Center students participated in a four-week introductory course conducted by the Homestead Toastmasters Club in hopes of building their personal leadership capabilities.

Student Samiel Remy accepts his Best Table-Topics ribbon from Homestead Toastmasters Club President Richard Erschik.

Student Samiel Remy accepts his Best Table-Topics ribbon from Homestead Toastmasters Club President Richard Erschik.

Toastmasters is offered in over 290,000 clubs world-wide and focuses on effective communication and leadership skill development.

Homestead Job Corps Business and Community Liaison Lesly Diaz was happy with the number of participants and credits the numerous benefits students gain as the reason for their participation.

“Last year, the completion of the Homestead Toastmaster course led one student to become the Student Government Association president at our Center,” Ms. Diaz said.

This year, student Samiel Remy was presented with an award and ribbon for Best Table-Topics by Homestead Toastmasters Club President Richard Erschik.

“Mr. Remy won based on votes by his peers, which adds to the credibility of the award,” Mr. Erschik said.

As the class progressed, Mr. Erschik encouraged students to begin conducting their own club meetings as a way to improve their communication skills. The students recognized the value of the program and one student has even volunteered to be president of the club at Homestead Job Corps Center and spearhead the initiative.

Mr. Erschik agreed to teach an introductory Toastmasters course upon the request of Business and Community Liaison Lesly Diaz.

Mr. Erschik agreed to teach an introductory Toastmasters course upon the request of Business and Community Liaison Lesly Diaz.

“I am proud of how the students gravitated towards it once they realized what it was, and that they see the benefit to themselves to continue,” Mr. Erschik said.

“Homestead Job Corps Center is blessed to have volunteers like Homestead Toastmaster’s President and Toastmaster’s course facilitator, Richard Erschik, share their time and talents with our students,” Ms. Diaz said. “It means a lot to know that the community supports both our students and the Job Corps program.”

Author : Josephine Lee